Feb 12, 2021
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US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlined five helpful tricks to make masks more protective.
Correct and consistent mask use is a critical step everyone can take to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19. Masks work best when everyone wears them, but not all masks provide the same protection. When choosing a mask, look at how well it fits, how well it filters the air, and how many layers it has.
Nose bridges ensure a tight sealCDC recommends choosing masks with a nose wire, or metal strip along the top. Adjusting the wire ensures over the nose that masks are sealed tightly, so no droplets or aerosols can leak out.
Mask braces can improve filtration by up to 90%.Surgical masks are made of non-woven fabric, so they're usually the safest option for those who don't have access to an N95 (the gold standard for face coverings).
But even surgical masks don't offer a perfect seal: A recent study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that a medical-grade procedure mask blocked just 59% of respiratory aerosols from a cough.