All of these factors mean masks remain an important tool in slowing the spread of the virus.
The CDC underscored that point by issuing a revised guidance on July 27 urging Americans, fully vaccinated or not, to mask up in public indoor spaces under certain circumstances.
Below we’ve compiled answers to some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding masks and how to use them in this latest phase of pandemic life. These recommendations are drawn from CDC guidance, previously published Washington Post articles and new interviews with experts specializing in infectious diseases, public health and air quality.
What to know
- What is the CDC’s latest guidance on masks?
- How do I know whether I’m in an area with substantial or high transmission?
- Why did the CDC change its guidance?
- Does the kind of mask I wear matter?
- Do I need to upgrade to an N95 mask?
- What are some pros and cons of using an N95 mask?