The CDC did not say when its guidance will be updated. In the meantime, the CDC said in a statement, “any mask is better than no mask, and we encourage Americans to wear a well-fitting mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Since the arrival of omicron, health experts have urged Americans to upgrade their cloth masks to an N95 or KN95 because the new variant is so highly transmissible. But these higher-grade masks are costly and hard to find.
Prior to omicron, CDC director Rochelle Walensky resisted suggesting N95 masks for the average American because the CDC didn’t want to discourage people from wearing any mask.
Dawn O’Connell, a top official at the Health and Human Services Department, said Tuesday that the Biden administration plans to increase production of N95s. There are already 737 million N95 masks in the strategic national stockpile available for medical workers.
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