CDC updates mask recommendations – Boston 25 News

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask recommendations on Friday, with officials saying people should “wear the most protective mask possible that fits well and that you will wear consistently.”

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The update came following speculation that the public health agency is recommending people wear N95 or KN95 masks. Previously, officials had recommended against the use of the highly protective masks due to a shortage of healthcare workers.

“One of the first things we did when we took office was significantly improve our manufacturing and stocking of all personal protective equipment,” the city’s COVID-19 response coordinator said on Wednesday. White House, Jeff Zients, during a press conference. “Today, N95 masks are widely available and the government has a large stockpile of over 750 million masks for healthcare workers and first responders.”

>> See the full guidance released by the CDC

In updates posted on the CDC’s website Friday, officials said masks labeled as “surgical” N95 respirators should still be reserved for use by healthcare workers.

“Loosely woven fabric products offer the least protection, thinly woven, layered products offer more protection, tight-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection, and tight-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators (including the N95s) provide the highest level of protection,” the officials said.

“Whatever product you choose, it should provide a good fit (i.e. it fits tightly to the face with no gaps along the edges or around the nose) and be comfortable enough when ‘It’s worn correctly (covering your nose and mouth) so you can keep it on when you need it.

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The updated guidance comes as the United States grapples with an increase in COVID-19 cases fueled by the arrival of the highly transmissible omicron variant. Omicron was first detected in the United States on December 1 and has since become the dominant variant linked to coronavirus infections nationwide, accounting for 98% of recent COVID-19 infections. According to the CDC.

>> Related: Biden: Government to distribute 1 billion free COVID-19 tests

Since the start of the pandemic, authorities have reported 64.6 million cases of COVID-19 nationwide, resulting in nearly 849,000 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, 322.4 million cases have been reported, resulting in 5.5 million deaths, according to the university.

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