Your guide to better masks in the age of Omicron
The agency describes well-fitting respirators approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) -- such as N95 masks -- as offering "the highest level of protection."
In crowded places, "you should be wearing a KN95 or N95 mask," which can cost a few dollars each, Wen added.
Here's what you need to know about masks like N95s, where to get them and how to use them safely.
Why the Omicron variant of coronavirus has been infecting many people so quickly is currently unknown, but it emphasizes the importance of wearing high-quality masks, Bromage said.
The difference between N95 and KN95 masks is where each is certified, according to Oklahoma's state health department .
How can I spot a fake N95, KN95 or KF94?
The N95s are medical masks made for health care workers, so, naturally, there aren't N95 masks designed or made for children, since only adults would be working in health care settings.
Certainly, for children, a KN95 or KF94 will provide better protection on average than a surgical mask or cloth mask," Marr added.
N95 masks made by 3M -- a leading global manufacturer of N95 masks and the largest producer of the masks in the US -- are available at all major retailers, including Home Depot, Target, Lowes, Menards and Amazon's 3M store, 3M spokeswoman Jennifer Ehrlich told CNN this month.
Amazon has said it prohibits sellers from claiming their KN95 masks are "FDA-approved," since the US Food and Drug Administration doesn't approve KN95 masks.
Some public health departments, such as those for Maryland and Milwaukee , are offering free N95 masks.
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