As Omicron spreads throughout Oklahoma, the CDC says it might be time for you to upgrade your masks.
Health leaders say you should trade out your cloth mask for one that offers more protection the N95.
“A better mask will help protect against transmission,” said Gitanjali Pai, Chief Medical Officer with the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
So, that brings the question…what type of mask should people be wearing?
“We need to check that it fits snugly over the mouth, nose and chin,” said Dr. Pai.
With the new surge of COVID cases across the state and nation, Dr. Pai says some cloth and surgical masks aren’t getting the job done.
“They often don’t fit that well. They can fit poorly. Creating these gaps that can allow particles to pass through,” said Dr. Pai.
Health experts say the best mask protection against COVID-19 is the K95 or N95.
“A properly fitted and certified N95 can filter up to 95 percent of particles in the air and that is why they’re considered a gold standard at the moment,” said Dr. Pai.
Dr. Paid said if you’re wearing a cloth mask consider layer it with a surgical mask. The goal is to have a mask that fits comfortably and works effectively. She said high quality or not — you should still do what you can to protect yourself.
“Any mask is better than no mask,” said Dr. Pai.
The Biden Administration plans to distribute free N95 masks for adults starting next week.