Even though the public health emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, there are still situations where you may want or need to wear a mask. Even if it’s not to protect yourself from COVID-19, the face masks that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended may reduce your risk of picking up other airborne illnesses, like colds, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and the flu. . .
New COVID-19 Variant: On July 19th, 2023, the World Health Organization added EG.5 to its list of circulating COVID-19 variants. This new strain, nicknamed "Eris" is becoming the dominant strain across the United States and Britain, in part due to its ability to avoid antibodies and enter cells more easily. If you begin to experience symptoms, test yourself and wear a mask when it's not possible to isolate. . .
If you want the highest level of protection against COVID-19, it’s an N95 respirator, says Brad Hutton, MPH, public health consultant at Hutton Health Consulting and former Deputy Commissioner of Public Health at the New York State Department of Health. Not only do these provide the closest fit on the face, but they also filter out a higher percentage of small, virus-sized particles.
According to Hutton, N95 respirators provide more protection than cloth or nylon masks, which can’t do much to guard against inhaling viral-sized particles. If you need to wear a cloth mask and are looking for more protection, you’ll need to choose a multi-layered mask or pair a cloth mask with a surgical mask.