Mercy official reacts to federal distribution of N95 masks | News


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Although wearing an N95 is best, it is most important you are wearing a mask that fits properly.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — The Biden Administration announcing 400 million N95 masks will be given out to Americans for free starting next week. The move comes as the CDC has updated their guidance encouraging people to turn towards N95s to best protect them against the omicron variant.

Those N95 masks will be shipped to pharmacies and community health centers across the country starting next week. This will be the largest distribution of free masks by the federal government since the pandemic began, encouraging people to wear more protective face coverings in light of the highly contagious omicron variant.

“They have different levels of filtration the highest level of filtration is the N95, so it gives you at least 90 and above or 99 percent and higher,” said Magdalene Eboso, infection prevention and control coordinator at Mercy Medical Center.

Eboso told Western Mass News that although wearing an N95 is best it is most important you are wearing a mask that fits properly.

“An N95 that is ill fitting is useless to you. You are better off getting a surgical mask that, you know, will give you a nice tight seal rather than wearing a N95 that you don’t know how to wear it, has big gaps on it,” Eboso explained.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for free to Americans starting next week, now tha…

Eboso said if your N95 mask does not fit properly, wear a surgical mask under it or if you are looking to stretch the life of your N95, you should also put a surgical mask underneath. Also, make sure to wash your hands when touching it to help protect more germs from getting on it.

“The minute it becomes moist, the minute that elastic band breaks from it, then it’s no good because that seal is not going to be there then your best advice is to just throw it out and get another one,” Eboso added.

Although you may be tempted to clean your N95 mask to preserve it, Eboso does not recommend that.

“You can’t really clean it at home. They have designated laboratories in all different places across the country and not even everywhere, like I wouldn’t decide to say here at Mercy, we wake up and say let’s go clean it…Nobody at home should do it,” Eboso said.

We checked in with local health departments in western Massachusetts that said they have no information on the mask roll out. We also reached out to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as well to see if they had any information on when the Bay State could see these N95 masks from the federal government and have not yet heard back.

Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.

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