With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tagging COVID-19’s new variants as more contagious and spiking the number of infected cases worldwide, health experts are weighing in on what type of face masks are most effective to prevent it from further spreading both in the medical and general communities. 

Being everyone’s first line of protection against COVID-19, face masks come in different types and make, each offering varying degrees of comfort and efficiency. As health experts continue to learn more about the virus and its emerging variants, the CDC has discouraged the use of several types of filtering respirators for use in the medical setting including copper masks, neck gaiters, bandanas, masks that come with exhale valves (that are not for medical use), or any type of DIY masks and recommends the use of N95 respirators instead. However, there is a current shortage of N95 respirator production across the globe which forces medical staff to resort to lower-grade face masks and respirators. 

N95 respirators remain the gold standard in the U.S.

In the U.S., well-fitted N95 respirators are still the best type that can offer the highest level of protection as they filter 95% of airborne microparticles. Medical professionals are also advised to include these types of masks in their checklist of personal protective equipment (PPE) if supplies allow, to reduce the chances of infection when treating COVID-19 patients. 

Unfortunately, over 50 million N95 respirators are needed annually across the U.S., and its supply does not usually meet this demand.    

KN95 respirators are the closest type to N95 respirators in terms of their level of protection but the difference between the two is that the American face mask regulator, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Hazard (NIOSH), has only approved N95 respirators for use in medical communities so far as KN95 respirators still lack certification. 

While the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) has already approved several KN95 respirator brands (most of which are made in China), there is still a huge clamor from healthcare communities to produce both KN95 and N95 respirators in the U.S. to ensure quality and consumer safety. This followed after recent news reports have emerged on how 70% of China-made KN95 masks did not meet NIOSH filtering and fitting requirements.

Wear the right N95 respirator

Experts advise everyone to examine their N95 respirators for proper NIOSH approval numbers on the filtering facepiece respirator before wearing them. Any N95 respirators with decorative fabric are absolute fakes or those that claim they are approved for child protection. Recommended N95 respirators should also have headloops for a more secure fit. 

In the country, one of the leading manufacturers is The USA Mask Company which produces certified and high-grade KN95 respirators with a five-layer filtration system that’s proven to efficiently block off aerosol particles. These respirators undergo rigorous quality testing and meet CDC and FDA standards while still being secure and comfortable to wear for longer periods.

Learn more about The USA Mask Company and how you can order genuine KN95 respirators. Visit them at https://theusamaskcompany.com.