According to a new CDC study, people who consistently wear N95 or KN95 masks/respirators are 83% less likely to test positive for Covid 19. Those who wore surgical masks were 66% less likely to test positive, followed by cloth masks, which came in at 56%.
The research affirms what experts around the country have been advising people about the importance of wearing masks, particularly the N95 or KN95, even as the latest wave of the pandemic fueled by the Omicron variant continues to wane.
The CDC also advises people who wear cloth masks to pair them with a surgical mask for better protection.
However, there is a push to end the mask mandate, which expires for general indoor public places on February 10, and in schools on February 21, including from some parents who are still resisting the face masks for their children.
Governor Kathy Hochul of New York said the timeline for ending the mandate for schools could be linked to an increase in vaccination rates among children. “I would love to see the trend of younger children vaccinated as we start making decisions about schools,” the Governor said.
According to CDC figures for New York State, only 30% of children ages 5 to 11 have received two doses of the Covid vaccine, and about 70% of children between 12 to 17 have completed the vaccine series – 2 doses.
On Saturday, New York State reported 5,680 new cases of Covid 19. However, “the trends continue to be promising, but it is important that we continue to be vigilant so we can keep positivity rates low,” Governor Hochul said in a statement released last week. She urged New Yorkers to get vaccinated, adding that “it is our best weapon against the virus,”.