Single-Layer Cloth Masks Not Effective Against Omicron, Says Ontario Scientific Advisory Board Director | The Canadian News

Depending on what you have, it turns out that one of the oldest tools in our arsenal against COVID-19 can not be rival for the Omicron variant, as one of the best doctors in Ontario.

He is talking about single layer fabric face masks.

“The problem here is that if you have a single-layer filtering capability is absolutely minimal and does not make any difference,” said Dr. Peter Juni, scientific director of the Scientific Advisory Board of Ontario.

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Juni says those masks don’t stand a chance against Omicron, which is “four to eight times more infectious than Delta.”


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COVID-19: Tam Says Community Transmission of Omicron Variant Occurs in Ontario


COVID-19: Tam Says Community Transmission of Omicron Variant Occurs in Ontario

A better option, you say? Start with a two-layer cloth mask that has been washed, which gives you the ability to filter better. If you want to go one step further in protection, wear a KN95 mask, he says.

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“[KN95] It may be a good idea for people who are exposed to a lot of people … this is something that could be important for a bus driver for a cashier in a supermarket … they have the same type of filter that an N95 “.

N95 respirators are the masks often used in hospitals for healthcare personnel.

Dr. Juni says you can also double up with a two-layer cloth mask and a medical-grade mask underneath for added protection.

“All these masks have the least two layers and, therefore filter out small particles so much more efficient than it could make a single layer mask” Juni said.

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How you wear your mask and its fit will also determine your level of effectiveness against Omicron, Juni says.

In a video demonstration with Global News, he said he began by sanitize their hands before lifting and putting on the mask, making sure the mask is seated atop the bridge of these, covering all the way to the bottom of the chin, leaving no gaps around the perimeter of the mask. Gaps, he said, can make you vulnerable.

“If you have a gap between your face and the mask, this just means that the air just circulates, there is no leakage there,” Juni said.

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He also said he would choose a mask that fits properly with a soft inner wire at the top that “has the ability to adapt to the shape of your nose” that can be pressed down along the bridge of the nose and along the cheeks to get rid of the gaps.

Then do the “verification”.

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“You inhale,” Dr. Juni demonstrated for Global News during an interview, “and [breathe] And if you feel like the mask is expanding (in the middle) a little bit and collapsing, then it doesn’t have a lot of gaps. “

Omicron variant against the highly transmissible, Juni also says that an update is needed in the province guide masks to encourage the use of masks for indoor meetings, regardless of the distance between one person and another.

“I remember when I was a guide if you’re in a room with other people in a workspace and have more than two meters away, you do not need to wear a mask,” said Dr. Juni. “This was not a good guide at that time on the provincial website and still not a good guide and, of course, now is much more transmissible variant is important to review that.”

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