The Delta variant has become the dominant strain of COVID, now accounting for more than 93% of all cases in the U.S., mostly among the unvaccinated population.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its mask guidance last month. The agency now recommends people in areas with “high” or “substantial” COVID-19 transmission should again wear masks indoors. Nearly two-thirds of counties in the U.S. have high or substantial transmission, according to CDC data, including all 21 in New Jersey.
But, which face mask offers the best protection against the Delta variant?
While cloth masks were helpful in the past against the original coronavirus variants, health experts now have differing opinions on whether that is still the case, according to a report by The Washington Post.
Stronger alternatives such as N95 masks are a much better option due to the Delta variant’s high transmission rate — especially for those who are not vaccinated.
Standard, well-fitted surgical masks are also shown to be effective against the Delta variant, the report said.
An N95 mask “is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles,” according to the FDA. Fit testing is also recommended to ensure a secure fit.
N95 masks were once difficult to find since they were in high-demand at the start of the pandemic, leading customers to shop for KN95 masks. But now plenty of N95 masks are now currently available.
KN95 masks are a cheaper alternative to N95 masks, as long as they “meet requirements similar to those set by CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for respirators,” according to the CDC.
Where to buy N95 face masks in bulk online:
Where to buy single N95 face masks online:
Where to buy KN95 face masks in bulk online
- KN95 Face Masks With Protective Respirator, 50 Pack for $74.99
- KN95 Face Masks With Protective Respirator, 10 Pack on sale for $17.99
Disposable face masks you can buy in bulk online:
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