N95 masks recommended for protection against Omicron

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 8:49 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommended the wearing of N95 masks instead of cloth ones for better protection against the highly contagious Omicron variant during its press call Thursday. The better fit and materials used in the construction of the N95s allow less leakage of respiratory particles.

Like any protective resource during the pandemic, though, the availability of the 95s can fluctuate. If schools, organizations and even municipalities have trouble getting them, they can petition the DHS to receive some of its stockpile. They are distributing the masks as quickly as they can, but sometimes even this can lead to delays.

“In addition, a great first step is to work with local public health partners and with county emergency management. Both local public health and county emergency management officials have been just unbelievable partners throughout the pandemic and can be helpful in terms of the alternative sourcing for some of these resources,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake.

Timberlake says regular surgical masks are more readily available and can be purchased at most stores. Because of the materials they are made of they are more reliable than cloth masks, though not as good as the N95s. Still, they say, any mask is better than no mask, and it’s recommended to cover up again when going to any indoor public space.

Click here to find out how to request free masks from the DHS.

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