Mayo says mask efficacy may vary based on which mask you wear

N95s are the most effective, while others may vary
MCHS weighs in on the efficacy of masks and how different types of masks may vary in effectiveness in preventive COVID-19.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 5:31 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:49 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - As the omicron variant continues to sweep the country, mask mandates have begun to be put in place yet again.

Starting this week, the Twin Cities once again require masks inside most places. It’s been seven months since the mask mandate was lifted in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

According to the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, this variant is more contagious than any other variant we have seen so far in the two years of the pandemic.

“People are most likely to catch this with minimal exposure,” stated Dr. Jennifer Johnson, D.O., a family medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. “So anything you can do as an individual to minimize your exposure and minimize your chance of exposing others is something that we recommend that you do.”

With the variant being as contagious as it is, your favorite masks might not be as effective as they once were. Doctors are recommending picking up an N95 mask or doubling up your surgical and cloth masks.

“If you have one layer, you can see through it somewhat, or if you look through tissue paper, you can see through it once you get to two, three, or four layers. It gets harder for those particles to see. That is the thought behind doubling up and putting a cloth mask over the disposable mask,” Johnson said.

While some are experiencing more mild symptoms with the omicron variant, Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato is reminding people that the more severe symptoms are still possible, even for the vaccinated and boosted. They also add to be careful whenever in crowds.

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