BANGOR, Maine (WABI) – As the Omicron variant surges across the country, the head of the Maine CDC says he’s leaning toward ditching cloth masks.
Dr. Nirav Shah says they aren’t proving to be as effective in stopping the new variant.
He says everyone should consider switching to a surgical grade mask to maximize protection.
”I’m increasingly coming around to the view that we need to be upgrading our masks,” said Shah. “I think the older approach of a cloth face mask covering, I want to study it and talk to people on my team who are experts in this, but I’m increasingly coming to the view that the old school cloth face coverings, maybe time to retire those. And then the bare minimum ought to be a surgical mask, and then also talking about upgrading from there – the so-called KF94s or the KN95, or even the full-on N95.”
Shah says at last check, just over two percent of cases in Maine were the Omicron variant.
He says he expects that number will be higher once they get this week’s update.