Friday’s clarification by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was a response to concerns about various types of masks. The Centers acknowledged that cloth masks worn by Americans are not as protective as respirators or surgical masks.
Although this disparity is well-known to the public, this update marks the first time that the C.D.C. The differences are now addressed explicitly by the C.D.C. The agency’s website also no longer refers to a shortage of respirators.
This is because Omicron variants, which are highly contagious, continue to rise in cases. Experts have stated that cloth masks are not sufficient to protect against the variant and have urged C.D.C. Ordinary citizens should use respirators.
The agency did not go as far. Its updated language now says that “a respirator may be considered in certain situations and by certain people when greater protection is needed or desired.”
The previous version of the recommendations said individuals may choose to use a disposable N95 respirator instead of a mask “when supplies are available.”
N95 respirators, named for their ability to filter out 95 percent of airborne particles if used correctly, were scarce in the early days of the pandemic. C.D.C. Both the C.D.C. and the World Health Organization repeatedly stated that masks were not necessary for ordinary citizens unless they were coughing or sick.
The C.D.C. also said regular surgical masks were “an acceptable alternative” for doctors and nurses when interacting with a patient infected with the coronavirus — a move that angered medical personnel.
Critics argued that the recommendations were not based on what would be best for Americans and were instead prompted in part by a shortage N95 respirators.
The C.D.C. recommended masks for ordinary Americans. The C.D.C. recommended that masks be worn by ordinary Americans. The C.D.C. took several months to complete. The C.D.C. and the W.H.O. took months to realize this. acknowledge that coronavirus can also be transmitted by aerosols (small droplets) that can linger indoors for hours.
According to the C.D.C.’s new description of masks, loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection and layered finely woven products offer more. Well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s — another type of respirator mask — are more protective than all cloth masks, and well-fitting respirators, including N95s, offer the highest level of protection.
The agency urged Americans to “wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.”
Source: NY Times