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Experts Recommends N-95 Masks Instead of Cloth Masks Right Now

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The medical experts advise people to wear N95 masks instead of cloth masks in this current situation. They say masks like N95s or KN95s are way better to defend against the extremely infectious Omicron form.

It’s especially critical now, with health-care systems under strain and individuals spending extended amounts of time in high-risk environments like indoor settings and crowded places, says Linsey Marr, a virus researcher at Virginia Tech. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently modified its recommendations to encourage the kind of masks used by health care professionals, but they also cautioned that it’s critical to choose a mask that fits well and one you’ll use regularly.

“Our fundamental message is that any mask is preferable than no mask,” said CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund in a statement.

Because of supply constraints, the CDC previously stated that N95 masks should be retained for health care personnel. The CDC recommends that “surgical N95” masks, which are normally not available to buy for the common population, these should be kept in reserve for health-care settings. In N95 masks, the threads are squeezed closer together than in fabric masks, and they carry an electric charge that draws molecules to cling to the mask rather than flow through it.

KN95s and KF94s provide comparable levels of protection. The CDC website has a comprehensive list of masks that satisfy an international quality standard.

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