Updated guidance for face covering includes information on fit, layering and who should consider higher grade masks
Face coverings remain one of the most critical tools to prevent COVID-19 and double-masking increases the level of protection to the wearer and others
February 18, 2021 — The Health Department today issued updated guidance on face coverings (PDF), one of the most critical tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The guidance recommends people over the age of two-years-old wear snug fitting masks with two or three layers of material to better prevent unfiltered air from passing through. Alternatively, New Yorkers may wear two masks (PDF), with a cloth face covering over a disposable mask. The guidance also suggests higher grade masks, like KN95s, for people at greater risk – including those 65 or older; those with an underlying medical condition; those who care for someone who is sick and people who are in prolonged close contact with non-household members while indoors.
“Masks help us face the world and each other but it’s important that we cover up correctly,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “The strategies we’re sharing today will help shield all of us from COVID-19. The most important thing remains wearing face coverings consistently and properly, covering both your nose and mouth, indoors and outdoors.”
Because not all face coverings provide the same amount of protection, New Yorkers are urged to consider the following when selecting a face covering:
For New Yorkers at greater risk, the guidance recommends two masks or even considering higher-grade masks, such as a KN95 mask, which is similar in design and function to N95 masks used by healthcare workers. This includes those who are:
More information is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website.
People should also wear face coverings at home if:
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