GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida is recommending people wear more effective masks as the Omicron Variant spreads.
The healthcare company is recommending that people wear N95 or KN95 masks in public settings rather than cloth or surgical masks, which don’t fit as closely to the face.
Both types are medical-grade face coverings.
In a post, UF wrote: “As we monitor the rising prevalence of the omicron variant around the country and plan for a safe spring semester, UF Health recommends that people wear N95 or KN95 masks in public.”
Dr. Sunil Joshi, Duval County Medical Society Foundation President, gave advice on why medical-grade masks are better than cloth masks.
“Most of the studies where they are looking at the spread of viruses are done with N95, K95 masks so we have better data with those opposed to the cloth masks. The cloth masks may or may not always be well-fitting, so there is always that potential concern. It’s hard to know exactly how much but it’s certainly something where the data supports wearing a KN95 mask.”
Dr. Joshi said if you don’t have an N95 or K95 mask, it’s best to wear two cloth masks.
According to the Florida Department of Health’s weekly data report, an additional 29,568 COVID-19 cases were reported in the past week.
That’s up more than 16,000 from the 13,481 cases the previous week.
Dr. Joshi said vaccines are the best way to stay out of the hospital.