January 03, 2022

Getting More From Your Mask During Omicron Surge

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With yet another COVID-19 variant making its way across the country, it’s again time to mask up and take proper precautions. Experts, however, are saying that cloth masks may not be as effective against the omicron variant due to how contagious it is.

Before, if small particles of the virus got through your mask, it likely was not enough to make you sick. Omicron seems to infect people with fewer particles, and it finds its way around vaccines as well, though being boosted does seem to give greater protection, and it’s almost always a mild case if you get a breakthrough case.

So how do you get more from your mask? Center’s Healthcare has a look at a few tips to boost your protection.

Upgrade to N95 or KN95 Masks

N95 masks are 95% effective at filtering all particles, but the problem with those masks in the general public are that they are required to be fitted properly.

A better alternative is likely a KN95 mask, which has multiple layers of protection and fit snugly over the nose and mouth.

The trouble with these masks, however, is that it’s hard to find a good one, as there are loads of counterfeit masks or ones of lesser quality that claim to be an N95 or KN95. A list of approved manufacturers for these types of masks can be found on this CDC web page.

Doubling-Up Alternative Method

Surgical procedure masks and cloth masks offer at least 50% less protection than N95 or KN95s, but the CDC advises doubling up a surgical procedure mask and a cloth mask to give yourself added protection, especially if you’re in close quarters for an extended period of time.

Apply the disposable surgical mask first and then put a cloth one over it. You can also double-up on cloth masks if you’d like, but it’s advised that you do not wear two surgical procedure masks over each other.

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