N95 masks recommended for protection against Omicron

MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommended wearing N95 masks instead of cloth masks for better protection against the highly contagious variant of Omicron during its press call Thursday. The better fit and materials used in the construction of the N95s allow for less leakage of respiratory particles.

Like any protection resource during the pandemic, however, the availability of the 95s can fluctuate. If schools, organizations, and even municipalities are having trouble getting them, they can ask DHS to receive some of their stock. They distribute the masks as quickly as possible, but sometimes even that can lead to delays.

“In addition, an important first step is to work with local public health partners and with county emergency management. Local county public health and emergency management officials have been incredible partners throughout the pandemic and can be helpful in terms of alternate procurement for some of these resources,” said the DHS Secretary-designate. , Karen Timberlake.

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

Click here to learn how to request free face masks from DHS.

Copyright 2022 WSAW. All rights reserved.