- The CDC is thinking of beefing up its mask guidance in light of the Omicron variant, The Washington Post reported.
- It’s considering asking people to wear N95 or KN95 masks, the report said.
- N95 and KN95 masks give better protection than cloth masks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering recommending that people upgrade their masks to N95 or KN95 models to help fight the fast-spreading Omicron variant, The Washington Post reported.
An official told The Post: “The agency is currently actively looking to update its recommendations for KN95 and N95 in light of Omicron. We know these masks provide better filtration.”
The Post did not name the official, saying they did not have permission to speak publicly. The CDC did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The CDC and World Health Organization currently recommend that the public wear cloth marks.
But medical-grade masks, like the N95 and KN95 models, are better at stopping particles from passing through the mask, which means the virus is less likely to spread when those masks are being used.
Some experts have said that cloth masks don’t give enough protection against the Omicron variant, given that it is more transmissible than previous variants.
The CDC is expected to hedge any new guidance about mask quality by saying that the best mask to wear is one that people are comfortable wearing often and correctly, The Post reported.
The guidance is expected to say that if people can “tolerate wearing a KN95 or N95 mask all day, you should,” according to The Post.