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White House to distribute free N95 respirators; vaccination plus prior infection gives best protection from COVID-19 : Coronavirus update for Friday, Jan. 21

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The White House is distributing free N95 respirators to Americans, and a new study suggests that vaccination combined with prior infection are the best protection against COVID-19.

Cleveland.com is rounding up some of the most notable coronavirus news making headlines online. Here’s what you need to know for Friday, Jan. 21.

White House distributing free N95 respirators`

Free N95 respirators will be distributed via community health centers and pharmacies across the country, the Biden administration confirmed recently.

About 400 million respirators will be made available starting next week. The N95s are coming from the Strategic National Stockpile. When fitted correctly, the respirators filter out 95% of airborne particles.

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discouraged the public from using respirators because they were in short supply for medical personnel, news reports said.

The CDC updated that guidance earlier this week, saying that Americans should wear the most protective masks or respirators available to them. Some cities are enacting mask mandates to slow the spread of the omicron variant, which accounts for 99.5% of new COVID-19 cases in the United States.

Prior infection plus vaccination best protection against COVID-19, study suggests

A combination of vaccination and prior infection offers the best protection against COVID-19, a new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests.

Researchers analyzed data on infections in New York and California during several months in 2021. The data indicated that people who were vaccinated for COVID-19 and recovered from a past infection had the best protection against the disease.

The study was conducted before omicron became the dominant COVID-19 variant and before many people had received booster doses, the CDC said. The study did not include information on the severity of past infections.

The data was published this month in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication CDC.

Some people infectious with COVID-19 after 10-day quarantine, study suggests

A significant percentage of people with COVID-19 have clinically relevant levels of coronavirus after the 10-day quarantine period, meaning they could still infect others, suggests a new British study.

University of Exeter scientists looked at samples form 176 people who tested positive for COVID-19. Researchers used a test that can detect whether the virus was potentially still active in the test subjects.

About 13% of people in the study still exhibited clinically relevant levels of virus after 10 days, and some kept those levels for up to 68 days.

The study was recently published in the international Journal of Infectious Diseases.