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Medical masks that fit well best for Omicron protection: Sask. top doctor

Click to play video: 'Cloth masks vs. Omicron' Cloth masks vs. Omicron
Some experts are urging Canadians to ditch cloth masks in favour of others that offer more protection against the highly contagious Omicron variant – Dec 20, 2021

With COVID-19 Omicron cases beginning to rise in Saskatchewan, chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab has advice about what type of mask is the most effective.

As of Thursday, there are 27 confirmed cases of Omicron in the province and 121 probable cases detected through screening.

Read more: Single-layer cloth masks not effective against Omicron, says Ontario science advisory table director

During a COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, Shahab said a tightly worn three-layer mask has always been a good option. Some people may also choose to add a filter to the mask.

For those who are at higher risk, Shahab suggests a medical mask that fits well around the face and has a nose clip to prevent leakage from the sides.

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Shahab noted that many people are considering upgrading their mask to a KN95 or N95 respirator, which may be especially important for those who are severely immunosuppressed and are in a situation where they could be exposed.

“It could be important in crowded settings with poor ventilation,” Shahab said.

Read more: COVID-19 testing can be hard to find. So what should you do if you have symptoms?

In Manitoba, the provincial government is providing free boxes of KN95 masks at liquor stores and casinos.

Health officials across the country have also advised people to pick up N95 masks and say single-layer cloth masks won’t cut it against Omicron.

— with a file from Shane Gibson, Kayla McLean

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