POLK COUNTY, Fla. — The pace of positive omicron cases nearly doubled, in just the last week.

Healthcare officials now say the difference in catching the highly contagious virus could be in the type of mask you wear.

“We produce up to 2 million N95, NIOSH-approved masks a day here,” said ACI’s president Matt Muller.

When I visited ACI’s manufacturing facility in 2021, it was to learn about the new jobs the factory was bringing into Polk County. But this time, we talked about how COVID changed the way they operate.

“We’ve answered the call from the government to make domestic manufacturing. We’re not handcuffed anymore with supply chain issues or trying to be competitive with China,” said Muller.

ACI went from producing around half-a-million masks a day to now up to 2 million a day.

“We’ve seen big upticks and we’ve added another line here now,” said Muller. “People are recommending that individuals, not just healthcare workers, wear N95s as opposed to what folks were wearing in the past.”

Most would agree that any mask is better than no mask at all, but healthcare officials are urging people to do away with the one-layer cloth masks and start looking into masks with multiple layers like the N95.