CDC to update advice on best masks—but just wants you to wear one, any of them

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As cases of the ultra-transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant continue to rise in the US, many experts are prompting Americans to upgrade their masks to better protect themselves – that is, remove handmade cloth masks. Give the ones that were fashionable in spring 2020 to options like high. -Quality N95s and KN95s that are more available now.

Noting the change, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today that it is working to update Mask Guidance on your website, which hasn’t been refreshed since last fall, prior to the rise of Omicron. Meanwhile, the White House is actively considering providing Americans with high-quality masks.

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At a press briefing on Wednesday, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Ziants gave little detail about what a federal mask distribution program might look like or when it might arrive, noting only, “We’re in the process right now.” There are alternatives to be strongly considered. There are more high-quality masks available to all Americans.”

Any future mask distribution will be too late to stop the tsunami of Omicron cases that is now taking a toll on the US. But it could help Americans recover more quickly from the wave and avert future waves as SARS-CoV-2 settles into endemicity, as experts hope.

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Still, the expectation that Americans will readily donate high-quality masks—even when freely distributed by the government—seems overly optimistic. The use of masks in various settings has been one of the most controversial and divisive disease-prevention methods during the pandemic. Sadly, they are still in the third year of the pandemic and after several studies have indicated their effectiveness in helping stop the spread of COVID-19.

While the CDC’s upcoming mask update will highlight the high efficacy of high-quality masks, double masking and tight-fitting masks, the CDC has clarified that it will settle for almost any type of masking, as long as the masks cover people. does. Mouth and nose.

During a White House press briefing, CDC Director Rochelle Valensky spoke frankly, saying the agency’s mask website “needs to be updated right now.” But, she continued, “What I would say is the best mask you can make … is one that you will wear and that you can keep on all day – one that you can tolerate in public, indoor settings and Can endure. Where you need to wear it.”

Dr. Valensky said, “We will provide information on the improved filtration that can occur with other masks, such as the N95, and provide the public with information about which mask is right for them.” But overall, “the CDC recommends that any mask is better than no mask.”

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