The Travis County Medical Society is helping physicians get the PPE we need to stay healthy and to continue caring for our patients. This includes N95 masks. These masks provide superior filtration and protection compared to standard surgical masks. According to the FDA, N95 masks are “designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. The 'N95' designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles.” 

These masks are intended for single use. There simply are not enough masks to use in this way, so we have to do our best with what we can get. Currently many physicians in Austin either have no masks or are using one mask. All day. Every day. 

Research suggests that the coronavirus can survive on some surfaces for up to 72 hours; a four-mask rotation model has been suggested. The idea is that after using a mask for one day, it is set aside for 3 days. With four masks, a physician working four days in a row can have a “fresh” mask each day.


It is our goal to help each physician in Travis County involved in consecutive, daily, direct patient care to obtain four masks. 

TCMS has distributed over 5500 N95s donated by the community. We have also placed an order for an additional 6000 units. This was made possible by generous donations to GoFundMe campaigns organized by Tinisha Stone and Dr. Mark Glover with assistance from the TCMS Foundation.

It is important that your mask has time to dry out after use. One method is placing your mask in a paper (not plastic) bag at the end of the day. Write the date on the bag. Use it again after 3 days. 

My favorite method is using a plastic food storage container for each mask. Watch this video for a demonstration. This allows you to don and doff the mask without touching it with your hands. In this method, the container with the mask (no lid) is placed in a paper bag. Alternatively, you can place the plastic lid on the container, but you must drill holes in the container to allow ventilation and evaporation of moisture. Additional information about N95 re-use can be found here. 

It is also important to have the mask “fit-tested” to assure a good seal on your face. 

Another tip is to use a standard surgical mask or a home-made mask over your N95 to protect it from splashes and gross contamination.

If you would like to request masks, please complete this form. We will do our best to fill your order. Priority goes to physicians with daily direct patient contact.

Supplies are limited. We are working hard to get additional masks. Please support this effort and help TCMS order more masks by donating to our GoFundMe.

Keep showing up, and wear your PPE.

John Abikhaled, MD
TCMS President