Read Full Article here… lifehacker.com

Photo: Andrey_Popov (Shutterstock) The highly transmissible Omicron variant continues to drive a surge of infections across the country. According to the CDC’s COVID data tracker , the seven-day average for COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by more than 40% during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. And in light of this current wave, many medical experts are urging the public to reassess their trusty cloth masks from the past two years of the pandemic. “I think the time is really here to retire the cloth mask,” Dr. Amy Edwards, an infectious disease expert with University Hospitals in Ohio, told Fox 8 in Cleveland. Similarly, Linsey Marr , a Virginia Tech researcher who studies how viruses transmit in the air, told NPR that cloth masks simply “are not going to cut it with Omicron.” Here’s why your cloth mask alone probably isn’t enough to fight against the latest COVID variants, and how you should mask up instead. Why cloth masks aren’t enough Dr. Sachin Nagrani, medical director for Heal , told Lifehacker that while cloth masks are still better than no masks at all, the time has come to switch to medical-grade surgical masks (the rectangular kind that you might picture on a surgeon) or respirators (the bulkier, cone-shaped ones like N95s). “Earlier in the pandemic, we turned to cloth masks because of initial supply chain issues,” Nagrani says. “But now, surgical masks are readily available and superior in performance.” Now that we’re two years into the pandemic, experts say […]