Skip to content
Is it better to wear an N95 or cloth mask right now?

 | Breaking News Updates

Is it better to wear an N95 or cloth mask right now?

| Business Top stories | Local News


covid

Health experts suggest using stronger masks such as N95s or KN95s.

(AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin) The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Is it better to wear an N95 or cloth mask right now?

  • Is it better to wear an N95 or cloth mask right now?

 | Breaking News Updates

    Biden to donate 400 million N95 masks starting next week

Health experts suggest boosting protection against the highly contagious omicron variant with stronger masks such as N95s or KN95s.

That’s especially important now that healthcare systems are under strain and people find themselves in high-risk situations such as crowded indoor environments for long periods of time, says Linsey Marr, who studies viruses at Virginia Tech. .

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidelines to recommend the types of masks used by healthcare workers, but also noted that choosing a mask that fits well is important. and that you will wear regularly.

“Our main message continues to be that any mask is better than no mask,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said in a statement.

Previously, the CDC said N95 masks should be reserved for healthcare workers due to supply shortages. There is a special category of “surgical N95” masks that are not generally available for sale to the public and which the CDC says should continue to be reserved for health care facilities.

N95s fit more closely to your face than cloth masks and are made with a special material designed to block 95% of harmful particles. The fibers are pressed closer together than in cloth masks and have an electrostatic charge that attracts molecules to stick to the mask rather than through it.

The KN95 and KF94 offer a similar level of protection. A complete list of masks that meet an international quality standard is available on the CDC’s website.

But be careful when buying. The counterfeit market is huge, and about 60% of KN95s in the United States are fakes and don’t meet quality standards, according to the CDC.

It’s hard to tell just by looking if a mask is counterfeit, so experts suggest buying direct from reputable sellers. The N95 project is also a known seller of valid brands, and Marr says she buys masks from industrial suppliers like Grainger or McMaster-Carr.

If you find some N95s difficult to wear for long periods of time, experts suggest exploring the different shapes and styles available to see what works best for you.



Is it better to wear an N95 or cloth mask right now?

| Business Top Stories Today Headlines
Boston

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.