CDC updates mask guidance, encourages Americans to consider N95 masks for greater protection against coronavirus

US health officials on Friday encouraged more Americans to wear the N95 or KN95 masks used by healthcare workers to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

These types of masks are considered to be better air purifiers. But supplies have been in short supply in the past, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials have said they should be prioritized for healthcare workers.

In updated guidance posted Friday afternoon, CDC officials dismissed concerns related to supply shortages and made it more clear that properly fitted N95 and KN95 masks are effective. best protection.

However, agency officials note that some masks are more difficult to tolerate than others, and recommend that people choose masks that fit well so that they wear them consistently.

“Our main message continues to be that any mask is better than no mask at all,” said Kristen Nordlund, a CDC spokeswoman.

MORE | There is evidence that cloth masks are not as effective as surgical masks against COVID

The CDC has developed its mask guidelines throughout the pandemic.

In a final update, in September, CDC officials encouraged more disposable N95 masks, saying they could be used in certain situations if supplies were available. Examples include being around many people for long periods of time on trains, buses or planes; take care of someone in poor health; or get sick more easily.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that his administration is planning to make “high-quality masks,” including the N95, available for free. More details will be available next week, he said. The federal government has a stockpile of more than 750 million N95 masks, the White House said.

The latest CDC guidance notes that there is a special type of “N95 surgical” mask, specifically designed to protect against blood splashes and other hazards in the operating room. The agency said these drugs are not normally sold to the public and should continue to be available to healthcare workers.

Copyright © 2022 of the Associated Press. Copyright Registered. CDC updates mask guidance, encourages Americans to consider N95 masks for greater protection against coronavirus

Dais Johnston

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