DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– Local health leaders say they are recommending medical grade masks for residents to protect them against the omicron surge. The CDC announced they would not be changing their mask guidelines today to specify a stronger material.
The CDC’s stance on not changing mask guidelines was to argue any mask is better than no mask. Some local health leaders say general masking needs to increase across the Miami Valley while others argue for medical grade masks.
“Right now, we just need everyone to really help us because things are getting really, really bad,” said MVH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roberto Colon.
As omicron cases continue to rise across the state Dr. Colon encourages everyone to mask up regardless of vaccination status. Public Health agrees with the CDC, any mask is better than none. However, it won’t be effective unless it’s worn correctly.
“It has to cover your nose and your mouth, can’t be worn around your chin or any other way, wear it correctly regardless of which mask it is,” said PIO Dan Suffoletto. “Get it on, fit nice and snug, so the snugger the mask is combined with the type of material the better it will work.”
Clark County Combined Health District Health Commissioner Charles Patterson argues for residents to wear multi-layered masks during this omicron surge, specifically KN95’s that form a strong seal.
“When we go to a surgical mask like this, it’s three layers helps us, it’s form fitting across the nose but not a great seal around the face right here,” said Patterson.
Patterson says over the last week, Clark County has more than doubled their per-100-thousand case rate, but he’s hopeful the Miami Valley will hit the surge’s peak soon.
“Northeast Ohio has come down so they have hit their peak in omicron across the northern part of the state and now we’re in the process of going towards that peak,” said Patterson. “The question here is how many weeks will it be until we start to go the other way.”
Patterson says N95’s are a little hard to come by for the general public right now but KN95’s are easily accessible online and in stores.