For your consideration: Some Canadian epidemiologists are suggesting moving to n95 respirator-type masks with the surge in COVID-19 due to the Omicron variant.
There is some evidence that points to it being airborne, and cloth masks and even surgical masks offer less effective protection. This news article addresses the discussion of which type of mask will be most effective.
If you feel you are wanting to switch your cloth/medial mask for an N95 or KN95, remember that FIT is the key here. For an N95 to work as it is intended, there must be a SEAL around the entire edge. The area of the bridge of the nose, and under your chin seem to be main problem areas when forming the seal. If you can feel air moving in or out from the edges of the mask when you are breathing, then you need to re-adjust, or may need a different size or type. Be sure to read and follow the directions provided with the purchase of your N95 mask, if you choose to go that route.
In typical New Brunswick fashion, we are a bit behind in the Omicron surge compared to our neighbours, which gives us a few extra moments to plan how we can adapt. This gift likely will not last long, and I suspect we will be hearing more about N95 usage in the coming days.
As always, my intent is to inform and update you all in as timely a manner as possible so you can make informed decisions. This was something I found interesting and valuable, and wanted to pass it along. Please take care, and reach out with any concerns or questions. We can get through this pandemic together.
-- Cathedral Parish Nurse, Sarah Ecker