US health authorities on Friday urged the population to use the N95 or KN95 type masks to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
This type of mask are considered the most suitable for filtering the air and are used by health personnel, but were previously in short supply, and officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had said they should be distributed to medical workers in the first instance.
In a guidance update released Friday afternoon, officials removed concern related to shortages and said more clearly that well-fitting N95 and KN95 masks offer the most protection.
However, agency officials noted that some masks are more difficult to tolerate than others, and They advise choosing masks that fit well and are worn consistently.
“Our main message remains that any mask is better than none,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said in a statement.
The CDC has been modifying its recommendations on the use of masks throughout the pandemic.
In their previous update in September, CDC officials were more favorable to disposable N95 masks, stating that they could be used in certain situations if supplies were available.
Some examples are: being around many people for a long time on a train, bus, or plane; caring for someone in poor health or being more susceptible to severe COVID-19.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that his administration planned make “high-quality masks” available to citizens, including N95s, free of charge.
He indicated that next week more details will be given. The federal government has a stockpile of more than 750 million N95 masks, according to the White House.