WORCESTER, Mass. - A local health care executive says if you are going to require masks, it really should be a specific kind. 

President and CEO of UMass Memorial Health, Dr. Eric Dickson, said that while early in the pandemic mask mandates were effective, time and the evolution of the COVID-19 virus made certain masks ineffective. 

Dr. Dickson said that for mandates to be effective now, specific masks should be required, namely the KN95 masks.

“Early on with COVID, the virus that we were dealing with, mask mandates were more effective than when this virus evolved to be much more infectious. Along with being more infectious our relative wearing of masks waned as well. Do mask mandates work? You know nobody knows with a high degree of certainty. I believe they do, but I believe, especially now, with this very different virus that we need to be thinking about KN95 (masks) if we’re gonna do a mask mandate.”

The KN95 masks have a 95% particle capture rate, but have fewer breathability standards than an N95 mask.

The City of Worcester’s current mask mandate began on Sept. 20. It will remain in place until the city’s Board of Health rescinds it.