BINGHAMTON, NY – As the omicron variant spreads, facemasks are being recommended more and more.

Governor Hochul also recently extended the state’s mask mandate until at least February 1.

It can be hard to go back to mask mandates after our break from them, but here’s a refresher on choosing the correct mask and taking care of it to further booster your defense against omicron.

You probably have a collection of cloth masks built up over the past two years, but some are saying those are no longer your best defense.

According to our sister station, WHNT, says N95, KN95 and KF94 masks will be your best option, followed by disposable surgical masks.

Wearing a surgical mask under a cloth mask can make them more effective, too – though two surgical masks aren’t recommeneded.

If cloth is your only option those aren’t bad as long as its tight fitting and offers two or three layers (see full article here).

The other important part of mask use is understanding how to properly clean them.

Cloth masks can be washed in the washing machine, using regular detergent, or by hand.

If you can’t wash your mask right away, the CDC recommends storing it in a paper bag.

Cloth masks should be washed after one day’s use, and disposable surgical masks should be thrown out after a day as well.