Which Masks NOT to Wear During the Omicron Surge

by | Jan 13, 2022 | cloth face masks

Omicron became the dominant COVID strain in the U.S. seemingly overnight, proving to be the most contagious variant thus far. 

With that in mind, masking up has never been more important. 

Not all masks are created equal, however, and to adequately protect yourself and others, these are the masks you’ll want to avoid during this latest Omicron surge.

Neck gaiters

Duke University recently conducted a study revealing that neck gaiters are one of the least effective masks on the market. It’s important to note, however, that not all neck gaiters are created equal, and only one type of neck gaiter was analyzed in the study. 

Of course, any mask is better than none, and if a neck gaiter is your only option, you should wear it doubled-up.

Disposable surgical masks

Along with neck gaiters, disposable surgical masks are one of the worst masks to wear during the omicron surge. They do not provide adequate protection against COVID-19 because they’re too thin, making it easy for viral particles to enter and exit. 

Like neck gaiters, if this is your only available option, more layers will offer more protection, and you should consider double-masking. 

Face shields

For the most part, face shields by themselves hardly offer any protection against COVID particles. However, if you were to wear a KN95 or an N95 under a full-face shield (like nurses and doctors do), this could potentially offer sufficient protection during the Omicron surge. 

Face shields are only constructed to prevent particles that are directly in front of the shield from being inhaled. If you turn your head while talking or breathing, its entire purpose is essentially defeated. 

Neck gaiters, disposable surgical masks, and face shields should be used as a last resort during the Omicron surge. The best masks to use include N95s, KN95s, and three-ply cloth face masks.

Cloth face masks with a nose bridge and adjustable ear loops are also preferable, as they offer a better fit. These features are essential because a loose-fitting mask will leave gaps around your face for virus particles to enter and exit. 

At Quality Face Wear, our cloth face masks can be customized to include all these features and then some. We offer single masks and bulk orders in a variety of colors, and can even print your logo on them! Contact us today to get started on your order.