Cloth masks aren't enough to fight off omicron variant, health experts say

As cases of the omicron variant continue to surge across the nation, and in the Bay Area, doctors say it now maybe time to upgrade your mask. Health experts say single layer cloth or surgical masks may not be enough to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus variant.

"If you really want no exposure at all, if you’re in a store, I would absolutely do the N95, KN95, KF94, FFP2, or a surgical plus cloth mask,"  said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at UCSF Health.

Dr. Gandhi says, if you decide to double mask, be sure to put the surgical mask on the outside, "because it’s made out of polypropylene material, which is negatively charged, so it actually repels the virus physically. There’s been studies that show that double layering, that the two layer masking blocks out as much virus as the N95 and it’s more comfortable."

For kids, Dr. Gandhi says the KF94, is one of the more comfortable masks in the 94, 95 class. But she says not all kids will find them comfortable, and if not, a surgical mask will do. Comfort she says is the priority.