The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


August 4, 2020billrossInquirer

This message is for Guild journalists working in-person assignments.

Many of you have asked questions about the PPE that has been distributed by the Company, specifically the KN95 masks given to journalists to use while working in-person assignments. 

In theory, KN95 masks should work as well as N95 masks, but CDC has warned that dozens of Chinese companies have manufactured fake KN95 masks that do not filter the recommended 95% of particles in the air. To be clear: We are not suggesting the masks the Company distributed are counterfeit.

To be certain our membership is protected, the Guild has ordered a supply of N95s — the same ones the photo staff has used for weeks. They are made by Moldex, a large U.S. company working with the federal government. The masks are NIOSH certified to filter more than 95% of particles. 

We are expecting the masks to arrive late this week and will distribute them promptly. These masks do not need to be used on every assignment, but you should consider wearing one if you are reporting in-person and expect to: 

– Be in a large crowd

– Be indoors, especially with unmasked people 

– Be in a situation in which you cannot reasonably social distance and you may encounter an unmasked person

We will distribute additional information on how to ensure the N95 fits properly and instructions for decontaminating the masks between uses. 

If you are reporting in-person and you do not have N95 masks, please respond to this email ASAP with: 

– Your address, so we can drop off the masks (no contact; let us know if you live in an apartment building or where the best place to leave them is)

– Your cell number, so we can let you know when they’re dropped off

– An estimation of how often you are reporting in-person (a couple times a month vs. a couple times a week vs. every day)

Let us know if you have questions.

Also, If you are a Guild member in any other department and do not feel you have been provided adequate work protection against COVID let us know.

Anna, Diane and Bill