The CDC recently updated its mask information page to clarify the types of masks that offer the best protection – especially against the highly contagious Omicron variant.
While all masks and respirators provide some level of protection, properly fitted respirators – such as N95, KN95, and KF94 masks – offer the most protection.
The bottom line? Masking is a crucial tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19; it’s important to remember that any mask is better than no mask. The CDC continues to recommend everyone, regardless of vaccination status, consistently wear the most protective, well-fitting mask available to them.
How to Use a KN95 Mask
Maintaining + Reusing
When used in community settings, KN95 masks can be reused for an extended period of time. Properly wearing, storing, and replacing your KN95 will help maximize its lifespan and ensure best protection.
- When reusing, do not invert or wear inside-out. Keep the same side facing outward.
- Store in a dry, breathable bag (paper, mesh) to keep it clean and allow it to air out between uses.
- Do NOT wash your KN95 mask. Washing it will damage its protective barrier.
- Discard your KN95 if it becomes damaged, soiled, stretched out (fits loosely on your face), or hard to breathe through.
Wearing your mask correctly
Always wash or sanitize your hands before putting on or taking off your mask. Make sure your hands are dry and clean to avoid soiling your mask.
Place the mask over your nose and mouth (keeping the metal bridge / KN95 symbol on the outside) and loop the straps around both ears.
Press each side of the metal bridge against your nose, creating a tight fit.
Adjust the mask as needed. To work effectively, mask must be sealed tightly all around your face, not hanging loosely or leaking air.