Cloth Masks Aren’t as Effective as N95 Masks in Warding Off COVID- CDC
January 15, 2022
January 19, 2022
President Joe Biden will make 400 million highly protective N95 masks available to Americans for free at pharmacies and community health centres around the U.S., a White House official said.
The masks will start to become available late next week, and the program will be fully up and running by early February, according to the official. The White House said the free masks are the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history.
The CDC recommends that everyone 2 years of age or older wear masks in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status in areas with substantial or high levels of viral transmission. Right now, virtually every county in the U.S. has transmission of the virus, according to the agency. People are required by federal law to wear masks on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation.
Democrats in Congress have pushed the Biden administration to provide N95 masks to Americans for free as the highly contagious omicron Covid variant has swept the country, causing unprecedented levels of infection. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reintroduced legislation last week to deliver three N95 masks to every person in the U.S. The legislation has 50 cosponsors in the House and Senate.
Researchers in Australia found that fabric masks are at least 50% effective at filtering virus particles, while N95 and surgical masks are about 99% effective. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Pathogens in September 2020.
The Biden administration is also distributing free at-home Covid tests to American households. Every home can order four Covid tests at www.covidtests.gov.
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