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CDC updates mask guidelines, says N95s offer ‘highest protection’ and cloth masks offer ‘least protection’ – CBS Boston

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CDC updates mask guidelines, says N95s offer ‘highest protection’ and cloth masks offer ‘least protection’ – CBS Boston

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(CNN) – The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its information on masks for the American public on Friday, including noting that certain types of masks and respirators offer more protection against the coronavirus than others. others and offering advice on what consumers should look for when shopping for them.

“Masking is an essential public health tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and it’s important to remember that any mask is better than no mask,” the CDC said in a statement.

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The updated guidelines recommend that Americans wear the most protective mask or respirator they can find that fits them well and that they will wear consistently.

“Some masks and respirators provide higher levels of protection than others, and some may be more difficult to tolerate or wear consistently than others,” the new guidelines state. “It is very important to wear a properly fitted mask or respirator that is comfortable for you and provides good protection.”

The information was last updated in October. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday that the agency plans to update the information to reflect the options available to people and the levels of protection provided by different masks.

“Loosely woven fabric products offer the least protection, thinly woven layered products offer more protection, tight-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection, and tight-fitting approved respirators (National Institute for occupational health and safety) (including N95s) provide the highest level of protection,” the CDC states.

The updated guidelines note that “a highly protective mask or respirator may be most important for some higher-risk situations, or for some people at increased risk of serious illness.” This includes:

  • When caring for someone with Covid-19
  • When you are on an airplane or public transport, especially for a long time
  • When working in a position where you come into contact with many people, especially when not everyone is masked
  • When you’re not up to date on Covid-19 vaccines
  • If you have a risk factor for serious illness such as a weakened immune system or a certain medical condition
  • When you are in a crowded public place, indoors or outdoors

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Masks are still not recommended for children under 2, but the CDC “recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of immunization status. or the region’s transmission rates”.

The updated guidelines offer tips for getting a better fit and more protection, such as:

  • Wear two masks (one cloth mask over one disposable).
  • Combine a disposable cloth or math with an adjuster or splint.
  • Tie and tuck the ear loops of the cloth masks where they meet the edge of the mask.
  • Fold and slide the extra material on the disposable masks under the edges.
  • Use masks that tie behind the head and neck with elastic bands or ties (rather than ear loops).

The CDC says consumers looking for masks that meet quality standards can look for certain labels such as “meets ASTM F3502” or “meets workplace performance,” and they can go to the site. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health website for more information on personal protection. equipment

The agency also says some respirators do not meet international standards and has links to sites for more details.

Specially labeled “surgical” N95s “should be reserved for use by healthcare personnel,” the CDC says.

“These updates to our webpage reflect the science on masking, including what we have learned over the past two years,” the agency said in the statement. “We will continue to share the science of masking as it becomes available.”

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CDC updates mask guidelines, says N95s offer ‘highest protection’ and cloth masks offer ‘least protection’ – CBS Boston

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