How to Stay Safe on Set During COVID-19 7
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I miss the topic of ventilation. If you have enough persons together in a closed room no mask can prevent you from infection through the aerosol only one infected can generate over time.

I think people should worry more about this topic than about cleaning surfaces and hands.


Hi Thomas!

This is why the guidelines for the Safe Way Forward as well as the protocols for C19COs involve multiple layers of checks, tests, and PPE requirements to try to create as many barriers as possible to potential spreads on set. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable going to an enclosed set knowing that no testing had been done beforehand. Symptom checks at the top of every shoot day are also in place to catch those with fevers or cough in an effort to prevent those from coming to set who would be most likely to create those aerosols. No, of course cleaning surfaces alone won’t stop the spread of COVID-19 just as testing alone or masking alone wouldn’t stop the spread. Realistically, there is no perfect way to return to set COMPLETELY safe unless productions implement Draconian measures to control cast and crew. But, in the absence of a vaccine or viable treatment and with productions eager to resume, this is what we have to work with.

Jim Rosenbaum

The choice of which specific face mask to wear will determine how effective it is to filter out the potential threat of COVID-19 transmission. A recent face mask study tested many different face covering ranging from a bandana, cloth , surgical, KN95 and N95 face masks. In summary the use of bandanas, cloth and surgical face mask providing less filtration than the KN95 or N95 mask. Fabric or cloth masks are not considered PPE. I seriously question why any crew member would choose to wear a surgical face mask which can be 66% effective compared to a KN95 or N95 mask which is 95%. An alternative to N95 mask is the KN95 face masks which are now widely available and some have been approved by the CDC and FDA. Not all KN95 face masks are created equal henceforth it is important to find a 5 layer KN95 mask instead of 3 layer. In addition the use of a face shield along with the KN95 mask is yet another level of increasing protection for the user. Another lesser known KN95 mask uses a HEPA filter and cooling fan allowing it to be worn for much longer than a surgical or standard KN95 mask.

Brad I suggest you stop recommending the less effective fabric and surgical masks as an option given the fact KN95 face masks are readily available on the open market as of September 2020 and have a higher filtration rating. No crew member should be mislead into developing a false sense of security which a fabric and surgical mask provide. Lastly performing hand hygiene on gloves or hands before touching your face is critical to preventing COVID-19 transmission. Many who wear gloves are not aware constant glove hygiene is important. Changing out disposable gloves throughout the day is vital. Do not wear the gloves until they are torn or damaged.


Based on the gif visual embedded in the article, this study seems to be illustrating the ineffectiveness of wearing a face shield as a standalone protective measure for those around you. I agree that they aren’t effective in that regard, but if you yourself are wearing a mask coupled with a face shield, then that at least provides protection to your eyes if you’re interacting with an individual who is unmasked (which I hope you aren’t!).


Hi Jim!

Thanks for your comment! You’re absolutely right, fabric masks and surgical masks do little in the way of protection from inspiring aerosols in an environment where there may be others around who are not wearing any type of face covering. With the general principle behind mask wearing being protecting others from any potential infection the wearer may have, then realistically any type of face covering is better than nothing as a measure of source control and especially in an environment where mask wearing is required. The CDC has approved fabric masks based on this principle as well. Now, if you’re of the mindset that you’d like protection to be both for the wearer and those around the wearer or worried about fostering a ‘false sense of security’, then of course a mask with higher filtration such as N-95 and KN-95 would be advised. But because the predominant spread of COVID-19 is through droplets, then again, any face covering is better than nothing at catching those droplets and protecting those around you, and this is why the Safe Way Forward recommends all persons on set wear a mask. Statistically, there’s still a risk, but a hell of a lot better than nothing.

Jim Rosenbaum

One additional comment. The photo of the male wearing a face mask with the outgoing breathing valve should never be worn in public. It is pointless to wear a face mask with a outgoing breathing valve as individuals around that person can be infected. This is the type of stupidity and behavior which continues to spread COVID-19 to others.

I am disappointed your editorial staff chose to use the photo for reference.

The caption above photo “WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER” implies the exact opposite of the mindset of an individual who wears a face mask with an outgoing breathing valve.

Scott Simmons

Thanks for those thoughts Jim. I placed those photos in, not Brad. The nuances of current mask thinking isn’t exactly my expertise. Might you have some photos we could use?

Jim Rosenbaum

Hi Scott.

Shutterstock or any other stock photo agency will have plenty of people wearing face masks which do not have the outgoing breathing valve.

Scott Simmons

I tried to email you about this but the email bounced back.

Sergio Sanchez S

I had a 12day shoot here in Mexico that I just wrapped up, proud to say, none of the 50 persons working on it got infected. You just have to wear the facemask al the time.


N95 (foldable P3 filter) masks are bare min for particulates and toxic dust handling like asbestos etc, However, a biothreat like an air/fluid viral infection requires a minimum of a full-face respirator like an Avon/SGE gas mask with a hydration/comms system for long term waring and easy communication and filters should be no less then standard ABEKP3 or A2B2E2K2P3 if you are working with body disposal or in hospitals masks should only be taken off after being wiped down with 99% alcohol and being showered off (hole body clouths bagged for burn/wash) this is a basic procedure as anyone at a lab or in the field would tell you P3 masks won’t even filter moisture/smoke/aerosol so for a virus it’s better then fabric but a far cry from the 50 years of ABEKP3 filers effectiveness as proven during the Sarz/Ebola outbreaks.

Edit: I should note that half face respartors are inefeective due to eyes not being protected and non resprator style masks just make you rebreath CO2 and mosture making more bio waste ABEKP3 filters are reusable until they fail testing after days of direct high exposure.

But 100% protection is closed SCBA and anyone in the dropping gas bombs business will tell you that.

The reality is if you don’t get contaminated you cant spread nor be physically affected by it a sad fact most governments outside of the ex-soviet block regions completely ignored and neglected to distribute stockpiles of standard-issue ABEK filters and masks sitting in warehouses… a lot of lives could have been saved for a few million out of the UN’s budget.

Last edited 3 years ago by Harrypm

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