With the highly contagious Omicron variant still spreading across Oregon, some of our masks may not be protecting us as much as they did against previous variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Recently, the CDC updated their masking recommendations: N95 and KN95 respirators provide greater protection than cloth or disposable medical masks.
They are made to fit tightly to the face, and when worn properly do a better job than cloth or medical masks at keeping virus-carrying particles from passing through and around the mask.
◌ N95 masks ideally filter at least 95% of airborne particles with the proper fit, and they are approved by the NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
◌ KN95 masks also ideally filter at least 95% of airborne particles but are not approved by NIOSH. They are manufactured in China and meet China’s standard of quality requirements.
◌ KF94 masks ideally filter at least 94% of airborne particles, are made in South Korea and meet Korea’s standard of quality requirements. They are not approved by NIOSH.
These types of respirator masks may not be necessary to wear in all situations, but the CDC recommends them in certain high-risk circumstances (http://ow.ly/h2Ng50HH7mr), such as if you’re caring for someone who is sick with COVID-19, traveling on public transportation or if you’re unvaccinated.
To learn more about the differences between your mask options and how to spot a counterfeit or low-quality mask, visit our blog: http://ow.ly/SRNM50HH7mp
Message on behalf of Pacific County healthcare providers:
Demand for COVID testing currently far exceeds local healthcare provider capacity to test. It is important that we reserve our limited testing for those who are symptomatic or for those who have been exposed. As such, we ask that you please do not use local testing clinics for travel or pre procedure testing at this time. We also ask that individuals in need of testing do not come to emergency departments and urgent care clinics just for COVID testing. Hospitals are overloaded caring for ill patients and cannot provide testing for people who do not need emergency care.
IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS but do not need medical care and can't get a test, you might have COVID-19 and you should isolate for at least 5 days to keep from spreading the virus to others. Monitor your symptoms. More info in the Q&A here:
IF YOU WERE EXPOSED to someone with COVID-19 ￼and need to quarantine and are unable to get a test 5 days after your last close contact, you can leave your home after day 5 if you have not had symptoms; wear a mask for 10 days after last contact. If you have been exposed and you ￼don’t have symptoms is important that to time your test correctly. Testing immediately after exposure (within the first couple days), may result in a false negative result. ￼￼Details here:
We are doing all we can to increase test supply and availability in the community. Current testing site availability and updates here: