With experts warning that cloth masks are insufficient to protect against the spread of the highly permeable Omicron version of the coronavirus, some counties, universities and museums in the United States are beginning to require high-grade masks indoors.
Salt Lake County in Utah, home to Salt Lake City, last week established a 30-day mask mandate that requires the wearing of respiratory-grade masks, such as N95s, KN95s or KF94s, in indoor public areas, and Los Angeles County Businesses are required to provide surgical masks, well-fitted medical grade masks or respirators such as KN95 to employees working indoors.
Los Angeles County Health Department said These “advanced masks are better at blocking virus particles than cloth masks”; N95 or KN95 masks block at least 95% of smaller omicron particles, according to US center for disease control,
Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles began requiring visitors on Tuesday to wear surgical, KF94, KN95 or N95 face masks, and Guggenheim Museum New York City also requires visitors to wear a three-ply cotton or surgical face mask or an N95 or equivalent mask.
colleges across the country, including Cornell University, California Institute of Technology, University of Southern California And University of Arizona, has updated the indoor mask guidelines, asking students not to wear cloth face masks and instead switch to surgical masks or higher grade masks.