For a brief moment in time, it seemed like some people in the U.S. might get to enjoy a “hot vax summer.” The delta variant of the coronavirus had other ideas.
In fact, some areas of the country are experiencing the worst spread of COVID-19 yet in this pandemic, so it’s important to protect yourself in as many ways as possible ― including vaccination and wearing the best mask you can for stopping transmission.
Depending on your situation, the latter might include switching for now from cloth masks to styles like snug-fitting surgical masks or KN95, KF94 and even N95 masks that aren’t prioritized for health care workers. Studies have shown that N95 masks filter out small particles in the air most effectively, followed by surgical masks, and both are better than cloth. KN95s are the Chinese version of the American N95, and have been more readily available to buy during the pandemic.
It’s important to know how to spot a counterfeit face mask while you’re shopping. Meanwhile, check out these solid options that are either highly recommended by reviewers or carry specific agency approvals.
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Experts are still learning about COVID-19. The information in this story is what was known or available as of publication, but guidance can change as scientists discover more about the virus. Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most updated recommendations.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.