Covid isn’t going away, at least not anytime soon. So it’s time to sign on to wearing a proper mask whenever you are interacting with people outside your pod.
The Oregon Health Authority put this out (see below for their full text):
It’s important to note that not all fabric masks are the same. You want tightly woven cotton: Knit fabrics and anything you can see through are not as useful.
Also, they should fit tightly around the edges. Your mask should have a wire across the nose that you can adjust for your face shape. If your glasses are fogging up, air is escaping out the top: Find a mask with a better fit, or use medical tape along the top edge. If your mask is falling off your face and you find yourself adjusting it constantly, the straps are too loose. For the ear loop type, try twisting them, or using a short strap with buttons on the ends on the back of your head. More tips here!
Yes, wearing a properly fitted, actually filtering mask will be warmer and feel like it’s harder to breathe – you are still getting PLENTY of oxygen (just ask all the doctors and industrial workers who wear them all day). Most people* will get used to it pretty quickly. I hardly notice it anymore – I’ve been wearing N95s this whole time.
N95 / KN95 / KF94s are meant to be worn about 8 hours. If you only did a quick trip in one, you can set it aside and use it again. They don’t last forever though – if your mask gets soaked or soiled, throw it away.
*For those with sensory issues, I’m sorry. It really stinks. But please try to endure them when you should, or reduce your exposure by using curbside delivery, etc.
The full text of the OHA post:
With the highly contagious Omicron variant still spreading across Oregon, some of our masks may not be protecting us as much as they did against previous variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Recently, the CDC updated their masking recommendations: N95 and KN95 respirators provide greater protection than cloth or disposable medical masks.They are made to fit tightly to the face, and when worn properly do a better job than cloth or medical masks at keeping virus-carrying particles from passing through and around the mask.◌ N95 masks ideally filter at least 95% of airborne particles with the proper fit, and they are approved by the NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.◌ KN95 masks also ideally filter at least 95% of airborne particles but are not approved by NIOSH. They are manufactured in China and meet China’s standard of quality requirements.◌ KF94 masks ideally filter at least 94% of airborne particles, are made in South Korea and meet Korea’s standard of quality requirements. They are not approved by NIOSH.These types of respirator masks may not be necessary to wear in all situations, but the CDC recommends them in certain high-risk circumstances (http://ow.ly/h2Ng50HH7mr), such as if you’re caring for someone who is sick with COVID-19, traveling on public transportation or if you’re unvaccinated.To learn more about the differences between your mask options and how to spot a counterfeit or low-quality mask, visit our blog: http://ow.ly/SRNM50HH7mp