Best face masks for 2021
With the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 over the summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention again recommended that all people wear masks indoors in areas where cases are spiking. A number of states have also returned to indoor mask mandates, and, as students go back to school, many are required to wear masks to attend in-person classes.To get more news about china type II mask factory outlet, you can visit tnkme.com official website.
COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations are continuing to rise among the unvaccinated in parts of the US, so we'll restate for the record: The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. But, since masks are once again becoming a requirement in many places this fall -- regardless of one's vaccination status -- it's time to re-examine the best choices in a delta world.
We talked to two infectious disease specialists to determine the best face mask or face covering to protect yourself against delta in 2021. Their general advice is below, followed by some updated recommendations based on their expertise.
"I highly recommend everyone get vaccinated especially with the highly transmissible delta variant going around," says Dr. Bob Lahita, director of the Institute for Autoimmune and Rheumatic Disease at St. Joseph Health. "As far as masking, the N95 provides the maximum protection against COVID-19."
A surgical N95 respirator is a disposable face covering used in hospital settings, which filters out at least 95% of airborne particles. Lahita recommends conserving N95s for "those who really need them" -- health care workers and immunocompromised people. The CDC recommends prioritizing N95s for health care settings first.
One popular alternative to the N95 mask is the KN95 mask, which is the Chinese equivalent of the US standard. KN95s are made from the same material as N95s and are also designed to filter at least 95% of airborne particles. Another alternative is the KF94, the South Korean equivalent to an N95, which has a slightly different shape and 94% filtration efficacy.
"To optimize protection from the highly infectious delta, I would recommend a high quality KF94 or KN95 for high risk situations," says Dr. Bob Bollinger, professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and founder of emocha Health.
Whether you're wearing an N95, a KN95 or a KF94, it won't be completely effective unless the face mask fits your face properly. "Make sure it fits snugly, without gaps around your nose, face and mouth," Bollinger says. This is why these masks typically have an adjustable nose wire -- to ensure a snug fit.
Then there are surgical-style masks -- the disposable kind of protective mask that you can find in every convenience store these days. While these surgical mask style coverings offer less protection than N95 respirators, they're still helpful for preventing the spread of the delta variant. Look for a mask with at least three layers of material, and again, a snug fit around the mouth, nose and face.
Whatever you do, don't rely on a fabric mask alone anymore, which are good at protecting others from your respiratory droplets, but not at protecting you against theirs, even with a filter pocket. "I would say people should choose disposable masks, not cloth," Lahita says. "A cloth face mask is better than no mask if you don't have access to the disposable ones. It helps protect others if you sneeze or cough -- but it's less effective than the disposable version or the N95 face mask, especially because many people don't wash their cloth masks often."
One way that you can still use a cloth face mask, though, is to double mask with a disposable mask underneath. Especially if you can't find an N95, KN95 or KF94, Bollinger says, "a good quality disposable mask under a cloth mask is a reasonable alternative, as long as the fit on the face, nose and mouth is tight."