The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally acknowledge Friday what many experts have warned for months: cloth masks are not as effective in protecting against COVID-19 as respirators or surgical masks.
The change in messaging comes as the highly infectious Omicron variant continue to spead rapidly across America.
Some experts had urged the government to tell Americans to scrap cloth masks in favor of respirators, but CDC stopped short of that declaration.
Instead, the agency declared that “a respirator may be considered in certain situations and by certain people when greater protection is needed or desired.”
The CDC’s prior guidance had said individuals may choose to use a disposable N95 respirator instead of a cloth mask “when supplies are available.”