The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask information for the American public on Friday, including clarifying that certain types of masks and respirators offer more protection from the coronavirus than others and offering tips on what consumers should look for when shopping for them.
“Masking is a critical public health tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and it is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask,” the CDC said in a statement.
The updated guidelines recommends that Americans wear the most protective mask or respirator they can find that fits well and that they will wear consistently.
“Some masks and respirators offer higher levels of protection than others, and some may be harder to tolerate or wear consistently than others,” the new guidelines say. “It is most important to wear a well-fitted mask or respirator correctly that is comfortable for you and that provides good protection.”
The information was last updated in October. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday that the agency was planning to update the information to reflect the options that are available to people and the levels of protection different masks provide.
“Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, layered finely woven products offer more protection, well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection, and well-fitting (National