Given the growing number of omicron cases infectious in the community, medical professionals suggest upgrading your face mask—remember the omicron variant is highly transmissible so you're better off with a respirator style that protects against finer particles over your standard cloth mask which just acts as a physical barrier.
What Are The Different Types Of Face Masks
Firstly, let's clear up what the different types of masks are.
- Respirators (N95/KN95/P2)—Respirators (referred to as N95, KN95/KN94 and P2 depending on the country) cover the mouth and nose with a tight seal and are mostly disposable, but some can be sterilised and reused. If worn correctly, they filter out very fine particles—the 95 refers to the fact they filter at least 95% of airborne particles—and are more effective at preventing the transmission of airborne infectious agents. Surgical grade respirators are also fluid resistant so offer the most protection.
- Surgical Masks—Surgical masks are disposable masks that act as a physical barrier and prevent transmission of droplets and fluid, with varying degrees of protection available. These are your next best bet but won't offer the same protection against airborne infectious agents.
- Cloth Masks—Cloth masks can be washed and reused multiple times and come in plenty of different styles (see some of our fave brands here). These types of masks provide varying degrees of protection—just keep in mind you should be looking for those that are made of three layers of fabric with a water-resistant outer layer.
- Double Masking—While masks are more about protection than fashion, we get that you wanna look good when you're out and about. If you're not loving the look of those more protective options, you can wear a cloth mask on top of a disposable surgical mask, however, it's not advised to double mask with the respirators (sorry). And in general, one good mask is better than two.
While respirators do offer the most protection, the best mask is one that fits you and one you're going to wear. So if you find them uncomfortable and are likely to take it off or keep touching your mask to adjust it, you might be better off with something else.
Where To Buy Respirator Face Masks—N95, KN95 And P2
If in doubt, we've rounded up a few places you can pick up respirator masks for delivery in Perth.
- Medical supply stores such as Med Cart and Vital Medical Supplies will have a variety of surgical-grade respirator masks and are probably your safest bet.
- Pharmacies such as Chemist Warehouse do have some but tend to sell out so keep an eye on their online store.
- Online department stores like Kogan, Bing Lee, and MyDeal are currently stocking N95 mask packs, but stock levels may also fluctuate.
- Home improvement stores such as Bunnings have P2 dust masks that you can pick up, which offer similar protection against finer airborne particles.
- You can find more fashion-friendly masks at airinum.com and shopausair.com that offer similar protection against airborne particles (claiming 99% filtration), just note these don't carry the official N95 classification.
Wondering where you need to wear a mask in Perth? Get up to speed on the latest Perth COVID-19 news.
Image credit: Arturo Rey