Health experts are warning that cotton and fabric masks need to be replaced with more rugged, heavy-duty face covers, such as N95, KN95, and KF94 masks, as the Omicron variant sweeps across the nation.
“Cloth masks are little more than face decorations,” Dr. Leana Wen said at an event at George Washington University. There’s no place for them in light of Omicron,”
According to her, we should all wear “at least a three-ply surgical mask,” and a cloth mask on top of the surgical mask can provide additional protection.
Fatherly reports that Dr. Wen’s findings are echoed by other health experts who suggest that, although cloth masks are better than bare faces, they are not sufficient against Omicron.
Thus, studies have shown that N95 masks can filter small aerosols and droplets contaminated with COVID-19.
Cloth masks can filter large droplets but cannot stop fine droplets as well.
Again, these multi-layered fabric masks are only capable of blocking “50 to 70 percent of fine droplets and particulates,” meanwhile the N95 is 95 percent effective, according to MarketWatch.
Literally, fabric masks do not seem to be sufficient protection against the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
Although cloth masks are generally considered to be better than no mask to protect against COVID-19, KF94, N95, and KN95 masks are all far more effective.
Make sure you and your kids upgrade your masks now because COVID-19 cases are rising and variants are mutating and becoming more contagious.
Aside from being vaccinated and keeping socially distanced, upgrading your mask is one of the few most important things you must do to reduce your chances of getting COVID-19 during winter when new cases of the virus are very likely despite being fully vaccinated and boosted.
The good news is that, unlike when the pandemic first started, you can easily find N95, KN95, or KF94 masks at a store. Get one soon enough!