(WKBN) – The mask mandates are mainly gone, but questions remain as new variants of coronavirus emerge.
There have been many different types of masks over the last two years and many different ways of wearing them, but the popular type again is the surgical mask.
Dr. Shanina Knighton, clinical nurse scientist at Case Western Reserve University, said, “The N95’s just in itself was never meant to be something that was to be made available for the public.”
The N95 mask has two straps which must be worn correctly for a snug fit. In medical settings, a fit test is given to make sure the mask keeps out all germs within a certain range.
“People don’t have access to those testing measures to make sure the mask is going to do what it’s supposed to do,” said Dr. Knighton.
While N95 masks meet U.S. standards, KN95 masks are made in China and meet China’s standards. The CDC estimates that 60% of KN95 masks sold in America are fake.
President Joe Biden could have an announcement next week about making high-quality masks available for free, but Dr. Knighton is cautious.
“The thing is, if the White House is going to give them, are you giving people enough of a daily supply of these masks where they can rotate out of them?” she said.
Dr. Knighton recommends wearing a mask with at least two layers that you can’t see light through.
“One of the biggest pet peeves I have is we’re just not educating the public enough on properly handling the masks and how to properly wear them. They’re still being worn as chin girdles,” she said.
Dr. Knighton says masks are not needed outside, but they help inside when conditions get crowded. She says don’t pull a mask down to take a breather because germs from your neck get on the mask. She recommends pulling it off from the ear.