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FDA: N95 masks, now plentiful, should no longer be reused

Ray Bellia holds up N95 personal protective masks, used by medical and law enforcement professionals, in the warehouse of his Body Armor Outlet store, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Salem, N.H. Bellia's store rapidly evolved into one of the nation's 20 largest suppliers of personal protective equipment to states this past spring, according to a nationwide analysis of state purchasing data by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Ray Bellia holds up N95 personal protective masks, used by medical and law enforcement professionals, in the warehouse of his Body Armor Outlet store, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Salem, N.H. Bellia's store rapidly evolved into one of the nation's 20 largest suppliers of personal protective equipment to states this past spring, according to a nationwide analysis of state purchasing data by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Medical providers may soon return to using one medical N95 mask per patient, a practice that was suspended during the pandemic due to deadly supply shortages.

The Biden Administration says there are now adequate supplies of N95 masks, and that hospitals and health care facilities should transition away from rationing the safety equipment.

The National Nurses Union, the largest professional association of registered nurses in the country, calls the new guidance “a tiny step in the right direction” but “ultimately fails” to protect nurses because it allows employers to use their discretion about what normal N95 supply is.