Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC reference table outlines strategies to ‘optimize’ PPE use in health care

July 24, 2020

Washington — In an effort to help health care facilities maintain their supplies of personal protective equipment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a reference table that summarizes strategies employers can adopt to “optimize” PPE.

The table is organized by types of PPE and three categories of PPE capacity: conventional, contingency and crisis. Among the types of PPE covered in the table are N95 respirators, eye protection, gloves and gowns.

Under the “conventional capacity” category, CDC offers strategies that should be in place “as part of general infection prevention and control plans.” Strategies under “contingency capacity” should be used during times of anticipated PPE shortages, while “crisis capacity” strategies should be followed when “supplies cannot meet the facility’s current or anticipated utilization rate.”


CDC says employers must understand their PPE inventory, utilization rate and supply chain. They also should train their workers on PPE use, including donning and doffing equipment. The table features links to additional CDC guidance documents on “optimizing supplies.”