CDC Updates N95 Mask Guidance

CDC Logo Wearing N95 Mask

CDC Updates as of January 14, 2022

The CDC has updated their recommendation for the wearing of N95 and other NIOSH-approved masks, citing that, “When worn consistently and properly, N95 respirators provide the highest level of protection from particles, including the virus that causes COVID-19.” To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently. View the updated CDC mask recommendations for COVID-19.

Previously, the CDC did not recommend that the general population wear N95 masks, fearing that increased demand for higher-quality respirators would impact healthcare providers’ supply. CDC officials removed concerns related to supply shortages from their website.

In a statement announcing the updates, the CDC said that the updates “reflect the science on masking, including what we have learned in the past two years, and will provide people the information they need to improve how well their masks or respirators protect them. We will continue to share the science of masking as it becomes available.”

CDC Update Summary

  • CDC added information to present similar content for masks and respirators
  • People can choose respirators such as N95s and KN95s, including removing concerns related to supply shortages for N95s
  • Surgical N95s” are a specific type of respirator that should be reserved for healthcare settings
  • Some types of masks and respirators provide more protection to the wearer than others.

Key COVID-19 Public Health Messages

  • Masking is a critical public health tool for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Any mask is better than no mask.
  • To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask that fits well and that you will wear consistently.
  • Masks and respirators effectively reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, when worn consistently and correctly.
  • Some masks and respirators offer higher levels of protection than others, and some may be harder to tolerate or wear consistently than others. It is most important to correctly wear a well-fitted mask/respirator that is comfortable for you and provides good protection.
  • While all masks and respirators provide some level of protection, properly fitted respirators offer the highest level of protection.
  • Wearing a highly protective mask or respirator may be most important for higher-risk situations or by some people at increased risk for severe disease.

Supporting DQE Products

Standard Precaution PPE Kit

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3m 1870+ Aura N95-Mask

3M Aura 1870+ N95 Flat-fold Surgical Disposable Respirator

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This health care N95 particulate respirator and surgical mask has comfortable inner materials and helps provide respiratory protection against certain airborne particles. The individually packaged flat fold design allows for convenient storage before use.