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Reuters urges the U.S. CDC to wear “the most protective mask you can.”

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People will be waiting in line to be tested for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Tower Theater in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, on January 11, 2022. REUTERS / Nick Oxford

By David Shepardson and Lisa Baertlein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday revised its guidelines for wearing masks to protect against COVID-19, recommending wearing “the most protective mask you can,” while not advocating for nationwide use. N95 respirators.

The CDC accused the agency of criticizing the pandemic for providing a volatile and confusing orientation on its website that “people may choose respirators like the N95s and KN95s, including removing concerns about the N95’s supply shortage.”

Americans should “wear as much protection as possible and dress consistently,” the CDC added.

The United States is the world leader in COVID-19 deaths – about 850,000 – despite a rapid rise in cases of the rapidly spreading Omicron coronavirus variant. Accounts make it difficult for some Americans to refuse to get vaccinated.

President Joe Biden said Thursday that the federal government plans to put “high-quality masks” on Americans for free. In another step, the White House said on Friday that the government will begin sending 500 million COVID-19 tests this month without charging Americans.

The CDC said it wants to encourage Americans to wear masks rather than wearing the highest level of facial protection, but explicitly said that respirators provide the best level of protection. He said that “loose fabric products provide the least protection.”

“The mask is a critical public health tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and it’s important to remember that any mask is better than no mask,” the CDC added.

The CDC said the revised recommendations “reflect the science of the mask, including what has been learned over the past two years,” since the pandemic began.

More and more Americans have recently opted for higher-level protection in the face of rising cases.

The United States has an estimated 1,800 COVID-19 deaths and 780,000 new infections each day, the highest number in the world, as well as a record number of hospitalized patients.

The rise associated with Omicron appears to be slowing in areas that were previously hit, including the northeastern and southern states, according to a Reuters analysis. In Western states, the number of new cases rose by 89% last week compared to the previous week.

The CDC announced last May that people who had been completely vaccinated could throw face-to-face coverage as COVID-19 cases were on the decline. But in July, the CDC said fully embedded people should wear masks in public places inside COVID-19 in rapidly expanding regions. The CDC said this week 99.5% of U.S. regions are covered by mask recommendations.

Some N95 officials in the US told Reuters that they had a record N95 sales after Anthony Fauci Biden’s chief medical adviser recommended to CNN that Americans “get the highest quality mask you can afford and that’s available.”

Properly dressed N95 masks will filter at least 95% of the airborne particles so that anything larger than 0.3 microns does not pass through.

Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous state, will on Monday require some employers to offer “medical-grade” masks – surgical masks, KF94, KN95 or N95 – to workers at high risk for COVID-19 infection.

Masks continue to polarize. Biden, a Democrat, called on people to wear masks again this week, noting that about a third of Americans do not wear masks. Many Republican-leaning states do not have a mask requirement. Some states governed by Democrats like California have reinstated the orders of the inner mask.

Blair Childs, an executive at Premier Inc., a hospital purchasing company for hospitals, has expressed concern about legislation backed by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who would send a package of N95 masks to every person in the country. Children said the proposal could “disrupt the healthcare supply chain.”

A few days after taking office in January 2020, Biden imposed mask requirements on airplanes, trains and public transportation, and at airports and other transportation hubs – his actions were denied by his predecessor Donald Trump. Biden extended the requirements for the transport mask until March 18 last month. The CDC said Friday that the use of N95 masks in places like transportation is “more protection when needed or wanted.”

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