On Friday, US health officials urged more people to wear the N95 or KN95 masks worn by health-care professionals to help the country to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
These masks are thought to be more effective in filtering the air. However, they were previously in short supply, and experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that they be prioritised for health-care professionals.
CDC officials modified their advice late Friday afternoon, removing concerns about supply shortages and emphasising that correctly fitted N95 and KN95 masks provide the best protection.
However, authorities from the agency cautioned that certain masks are more difficult to wear than others, and recommended individuals to choose masks that fit well and that they will wear regularly.
“Our fundamental message is that any mask is better than no mask,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said in a statement.
Throughout the pandemic, the CDC’s mask recommendations have changed.
CDC officials became more optimistic about disposable N95 masks in in the report which came in September, suggesting that they might be utilised in some scenarios if supplies were available.