People who are without any form of facial protection would tend to contract the infections much more straightforward than with protection. Most people had been using cloth masks considering their comfort levels. However, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has lately asked to upgrade masks to N95s for everyone.
Time To Upgrade Your Masks: Change Cloth Masks To N95s Or KN95s
The CDC had initially pressed upon the use of any form of the mask, cloth or surgical, for the general public reserving the N95 and KN95 masks for only the health care personnel and for those individuals who are more susceptible to disease contractions or suffering from comorbidities or helping with other diseased persons.
However, with the sudden rise in the number of Omicron cases, and a massive surge in hospitalization admissions, the CDC has changed its guidelines recently, stating that all should mandatorily use N95 or KN95 as they provide the best form of protection. Only the surgical N95s are to be used by the health care people as they protect them from blood splashes and other hazards in the operation theaters.
According to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, two people wearing the N95 masks are likely to spread the infections in a time period of 25 hours, whereas in the absence of the same, the infections can spread in as little as 27 minutes. The expected mass had been more inclined to use cloth masks, and CDC had never explained clearly why they should not be used as protection.
It is true that they provide comfort, but cloth masks are nothing more than just fashion accessories, according to health experts. Two or three-ply masks can still provide better protection than surgical masks, but nothing is as good as the N95 masks. In a statement earlier, CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund had said that any mask is better than no mask. But CDC had to upgrade its limitations.
Even the federal government had recently announced a stockpiling of more than 750 million N95 masks and planned to dispatch some high-quality masks for free so that more Americans choose to protect themselves with the best protection. The US has somewhere around 800,000 new cases daily, and approximately 1,800 Covid-19 deaths and hospitalization cases are on the rise.
Under such circumstances, the use of masks is of utmost importance and hence, the revision in the CDC rules. Regarding Biden’s new masking strategy, the director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walansky, has said that masks should be such that they provide consistent comforts while wearing the whole day besides being highly protective in nature. Biden also stressed the use of indoor masks to prevent the spread as much as possible.
The CDC is concerned about the rising cases of Omicron infections everywhere and the numbers are highest in the US. Cloth masks have been widely used since the beginning of this pandemic and the CDC had allowed such use to ensure at least some sort of protection against the virus.
But the increase in the numbers has forced the health experts to urge CDC officials to clearly mention why N95 or KN95 masks are always better than cloth masks as they do not have any health standards. Even the people opting for N95 respiratory masks need to make sure that they provide filtration of particles of up to 95%. The bottom-line matter is that the CDC wants all of America’s people to get the maximum protection for them and as masking remains the most critical public health tool to prevent the virus spread.