SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As cases of the Delta variant surge, public health officials are re-evaluating which types of masks provide the most protection.

The Delta variant isn’t more airborne nor more permeable to a mask than other variants but the better mask you wear, the more protected you are. Former Food and Drug Administrator director Doctor Scott Gottlieb says the virus is being spread through aerosols and not droplets so wearing a higher quality mask becomes more important.

He says that N-95 masks are safest mask you can wear to protect against COVID-19. He warned that cloth masks provide just 20 percent protection and a procedure or surgical mask offers 40 percent.

“But most people don’t wear those masks well, don’t fit them well, so they’re not getting that measure of protection,” said Dr. Gottlieb.

Doctor Gottleib says there are plenty of N-95 and KN-95 masks available right now for people to purchase. According to the FDA, N-95 masks “achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles,”