Health & Fit CDC updates mask guidance, says N95s offer ‘highest protection’

01:36  15 january  2022
01:36  15 january  2022 Source:   today.com

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CDC does not recommendexternal icon using face shields or goggles as a substitute for masks . Goggles or other eye protection may be used in addition to a mask . Do NOT put a plastic face shield (or a mask ) on newborns or infants. Appropriate and consistent use of masks may be challenging for some children and for people of any age with certain disabilities, including people who have high sensitivity to materials on their faces, difficulty understanding why wearing a mask is protective (such as those with an intellectual disability), or those who have problems controlling their behavior.

CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place. If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection and prevent possibly spreading COVID-19 to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission. Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday updated its guidance on masks for the general public, now saying that people “may choose” to wear N95 and KN95 masks because they offer the best protection against COVID-19.

But the agency stopped short of saying that people should opt for certain masks over others, instead saying that the “CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.”

Previously, the CDC did not recommend that the general population wear N95 masks or KN95s, a similar type of mask made in China, fearing that a run on those higher-quality masks would impact the supply in healthcare settings. The CDC now says shortages are no longer a concern.

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and last updated 2022-01-12 15:28:10-05. HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the N 95 mask was primarily used by doctors and nurses in hospitals, as the CDC and other experts say it offers the best protection . Now, as omicron is spreading like wildfire, the CDC "We manufacture an N 95 mask here in Virginia. You can see it's different, as it has head straps," said Gary Warren, CEO of ivWatch and Blox Direct in Newport News. Blox Direct is the only manufacturer of N 95 masks in Virginia. This fall, the company received approval from the National Institute for

The potential for a new recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is unleashing a scramble for N 95 masks and boosting their prices. The agency is considering changing its guidance to advise that people wear higher -quality masks , according to a Washington Post report. Some experts have spoken out about N 95 masks being superior to cloth ones, but the CDC has yet to give an official recommendation. However, it does say on its website that “ masks and respirators can provide varying degrees of protection , with well-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators (e.g., N 95 s )

“When worn consistently and properly,” the agency wrote on its website, N95 respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, or NIOSH, “provide the highest level of protection from particles, including the virus that causes Covid-19.”

Tara Smith, a professor of epidemiology at the Kent State University College of Public Health in Ohio, said that while the CDC guidance is welcome, she has concerns about how people who need high-quality masks such as N95s would have access to them.

“Is there a plan to distribute them, especially for folks who can’t afford them or can’t easily find them? This was something I hoped would be done earlier this year, but still nothing,” Smith wrote in an email. “Recommendations are great, but without access, especially for those at highest risk, it’s not enough.”

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CDC recommends that specially labeled “surgical” N 95 respirators should be prioritized for healthcare personnel. Employers who want to distribute N 95 respirators to employees shall follow an Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) respiratory protection programexternal icon. What to know about N 95 s . Some situations may have a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 than others. So, you may want to consider the type of mask or respirator to wear depending on the situation. Always choose a well-fitting and comfortable mask or respirator and wear it properly (covering your nose and mouth).

The highly transmissible omicron variant has prompted calls for people to wear better quality masks like N 95 s and K 95 s to protect themselves. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday the agency will update the information on its website “soon” to “provide information” about different kinds of masks and the different levels of protection they provide, so that people can make a more informed decision about “what mask is right for them.”

On Thursday, President Joe Biden said his administration is planning to make “high-quality” masks available to the public at no charge, but declined to offer details.

The CDC said in its updated guidance that it “continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.”

A mask should fit close to the face without any gaps, and be comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time when needed, it said.

The agency did, however, offer a ranking of commonly used face coverings in order of highest to lowest protection, with N95s approved by NIOSH and KN95s at the top.

Disposable surgical masks were next on the list, however the CDC advised making sure they fit properly. The agency now recommends double masking in this scenario: Wearing a cloth mask over a disposable surgical mask can help it fit more snugly against the face.

“Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection,” the CDC said. Cloth masks should include multiple layers of tightly woven fabric. The fabric should block light when held up to a bright light source.

This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.

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usr: 1
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