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