During this time of the coronavirus, local and state governments have all issued their own ruling about the need to wear face masks. With that, people have been creative in making your own mask, wearing different kinds of masks. Masks range in color, price, and different levels of protection. One of the most popular masks has been masks with vents.
But the CDC says those masks are not good when it comes to COVID-19
The problem with those masks, the CDC says, is that they don’t do enough to prevent the wearer’s respiratory droplets from leaking out.
“The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. Masks with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled out through holes in the material. This can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus,” the federal agency states in its guidance.
“Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks if they have an exhalation valve or vent.”
If you primarily wear a mask with a valve or vent for exhalation, the CDC suggests using another type of mask instead. The CDC also does not recommend the general public wear medical-grade N95 masks or surgical masks, which should be reserved for medical professionals right now.
So if you can’t wear your usual mask with a valve or vent, and medical-grade options are likely off-limits, take a look at the many reusable cloth masks available now. In general, masks made of multiple layers of material that fit snugly (but comfortably) on the face are the most effective options. In fact, a recent study found that masks made with multiple layers of cotton and/or polypropylene, a type of fabric made from plastic, are the most effective options after N95 masks and surgical masks.
But with all this talk against these types of masks, don’t get it twisted. Other masks and facial coverings still work.
Don’t underestimate the importance of wearing the mask correctly—fitting snugly over your nose and mouth—when thinking about its effectiveness. It may be helpful to order a few different styles of masks to try out at home, leaving them on for at least 30 minutes to help figure out which ones are most comfortable on your particular face.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health recently reminded residents that if they choose to wear an N95 mask