Mask standards shift as Omicron variant spreads
In the early stages of 2022, the Omicron Variant continues its wave across North America.
"There is still a lot of hard work ahead," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health.
How the public best protects against COVID-19 has evolved, at times daily.
"It does feel like, from a health standpoint, we are constantly moving goalposts," said Dr. Kavita Patel, from the Brookings Institution.
Given the high contagion level of Omicron, experts say the virus can slip through single-layer cloth masks. When schools re-open Monday, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston wants to provide the best quality mask for everyone.
"We have been able to make three-ply masks," said Houston. "And that is a good thing."
Mariette McDonald has been making masks since March of 2020.
"They have always said that the N-95 is the best," said McDonald, who added she is not officially in the mask making business.
"We are not allowed to advertise our product at all, that it is going to protect against the spread of disease," she said.
McDonald produces masks on demand. She has shifted to making ones with three layers and polypropylene filters.
As the world continues its shift to primarily K-N95, N-95 and 3-ply masks, there is no shortage of expert advice on how to wear them. Government-run social media channels have been providing guidance on mask application protection during this latest wave.