The CDC recommends wearing a mask in public, but what kind is it? The verification team consulted with experts for the latest information on masking.
Which mask does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend to wear to protect yourself from COVID-19?
The CDC recommends that the public wear a face cover with two or more breathable layers.
Local and national public health experts have told the public to “wear masks” for months.
At a press conference in November, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan coined the phrase “just wear a damn mask.” This later became a catchphrase.
But which one should you wear and what features should you pay attention to?
Our Verify researchers spoke with Dr. John Brooks, Chief Medical Officer of the CDC’s COVID-19 Emergency Response.
“Every mask is better than no mask, so people need to get a mask that fits them well and is willing to wear,” Brooks said.
So the first step is to wear a mask.
However, not all masks are created the same, as described on the CDC website.
What features do you need to look for in a mask?
According to the CDCIt has multiple layers and requires a mask that fits snugly, but it also has breathability and comfort.
They recommend the following masks:
- Two or more breathable layers
- Made of tightly woven fabric
- Mask with filter pocket inside
- Completely cover the nose and mouth
- There are no gaps around the sides of your face
- Comes with a nose wire to prevent air from escaping
Brooks does not fit all in one size, so we suggest finding a mask that provides a good seal. He recommends finding a mask with a tie around the head instead of an ear loop, or a mask with an adjustable ear loop.
He also says that once your medical mask begins to make gaps on the sides, you can tie the ear loops and push in the extra cloth to make a better seal.
Still, one solution may not work for everyone.
“For people with big faces like me, the knots are smaller and don’t completely cover the nose and mouth,” Brooks said. “… the way to test if it’s working, well, wear some glasses and make sure they aren’t clouded. And when you inhale or exhale, the fabric Is moving. This is a sign. It pushes and pulls air through the fabric, not inside or outside the side gaps. “
What features should I avoid with masks?
agency To tell Do not select a mask:
- Made of a material that is difficult to breathe
- Include valve or vent
- Intended for healthcare professionals such as N95 respiratory
- Made of single layer
- Made of thin fabric that does not block light
Both the gatele and the face shield have become reliable masks for some and skeptical for others. Do they do a good job of protecting you from illness?
According to the CDC, if you are wearing gaiters, choose a two-layer gaiter or fold it into two layers.
For those who have seen wearing a face shield without a mask, the CDC says face shields are not a replacement for masks, writing “In addition to the mask, you can use goggles or other eye protection.”
They are Research The CDC itself funded and studied how well various masks shield cough particles.
They tested medical-grade procedure masks, three-layer cotton cloth masks, polyester neck gaiters, N95 respirators, and disposable face shields to see the number of cough particles that blocked each mask from collecting at the bottom of the vacuum. Did. Basically, how well the mask shields others when coughing.
Studies show The percentage of cough particles that each mask blocked release is:
- Medical procedure mask-59%
- 3-layer cotton mask-51%
- Single Layer Polyester Gaiters-47%
- Double layer polyester gaiters-60%
- N95 Respirator-99%
- Face shield-2%
Research has shown that only a single version of each type of mask has been tested. “We used only one typical example of each type of device. The shape and configuration of the face cover is very different and this is expected to impact performance. For some face masks, an exhalation valve Or there are vents, which can reduce their effectiveness as a source control device. Compliance with specific masks tailored to individual wearers and proper wearing of masks (ie above the nose and mouth) The same is true. An important factor in how well a mask works as a source control device. ”
What do we know about “double masking”?
CDC released in early February 2021 Report This shows that “double masking”, that is, wearing a medical mask under a cloth mask, can provide additional protection. We also found that tying the ear loops of a medical mask has a similarly beneficial effect.
In a nutshell, experiments were conducted to see how a more appropriate mask would reduce exposure between two individuals.
In laboratory tests with dummies, researchers found that the risk of exposure to “potential aerosols” was reduced by about 95% when both were double masked. did. In another study, researchers found that the same was true if both individuals tied the ear loops for a tighter fit.
The first experiments found in terms of preventing coughing are:
- Knotless medical mask blocked 56.1% of particles
- The cloth mask blocked 51.4% of the particles
- Double masking blocked 85.4% of particles
- The tied and pushed medical mask blocked 77% of the particles
The second experiment examined different combinations of people who wore double masks while breathing or who wore medical masks that were tied and pushed.
Here’s what we found in the second experiment:
- Double masked source reduced exposure to unmasked receivers by 82.2%
- Masked source with knots and tacks reduced exposure to unmasked receivers by 62.9%
- Unmasked source but double masked receiver reduced exposure by 83%
- An unmasked source, but with the knots and tacks masked, the exposure was reduced by 64.5%.
- Double-masked source reduced exposure to double-masked receivers by 96.4%
- Knot and tack masked source reduced exposure of knot and tack to masked receiver by 95.9%
Brooks, the lead scientist in the study, states that it is important not only to improve the fit of the mask, but also to get the right combination.
He explains that polypropylene medical masks are often very good at filtering, and cloth masks are good at contouring the face.
Wearing two medical masks will not work because there is still a gap issue. Also, wearing two cloth masks may not filter the same medical mask and may make breathing difficult.
Does wearing a mask protect others and myself?
“The secret answer is that it does both, and that’s why it works so well,” Brooks said.
Brooks used masks in both the “source” and “receiver” during laboratory testing to test how much the mask blocked particle emission and how much the mask blocked particle intrusion. I explained that I did.
“Now, when we take either the modified mask, the cloth on the medical mask, or the one that is tied and pushed, if we put it on the source only or the receiver only, the same amount on the receiver The savings have been achieved. Ultimately, depending on where you go, you’ll get about 60-80% savings, “says Brooks. “But when attached to both, the exposure of the receiver was reduced by more than 95%. This illustrates this combined effect that can be obtained when everyone is masked. This prevents the virus from spilling and the virus. The outflow is blocked. “
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