If you tossed your face masks in the trash in anticipation of a hot vax summer, it’s time to restock your supply.
Back in May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, citing a general decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.
However, the CDC tightened up mask guidance again in late July after the delta variant sparked an increase in COVID-19 cases. It is now recommended that all people, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in certain indoor public places, especially in parts of the U.S. where cases of the coronavirus are surging.
The delta variant behaves differently from past COVID-19 strains, with new scientific evidence showing that some vaccinated people infected with the variant may be contagious and able to spread the virus to others. CDC director Rochelle P. Walensky cautioned that if the virus is allowed to spread, we could be “just a few mutations away” from it eventually evading our vaccines.
With that in mind, President Joe Biden called the updated mask guidance “another step on our journey to defeating this virus.” So whether you’ve tossed your masks in the trash or they’re just a little worse for the wear, it’s likely time to stock back up with a fresh batch.
The following masks are in accordance with the CDC’s recommended guidelines, but you should also make sure your mask fits your face well and covers your nose and mouth completely.
Adrienne So from Wired recommends testing your mask with a light and a candle: “Can I see light through the weave? Can I blow a candle out while wearing it? The mask’s weave should be tight enough to prevent you from doing either of those things.”
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.