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All About Coronavirus Face Masks

All About Coronavirus Face Masks

Wearing face masks saves lives. 

Studies have found that wearing a face mask decreases the spread of COVID-19. Data estimates mask mandates in America averted over 200,000 coronavirus cases before May 2020. 

So, what should you know about coronavirus face masks? Check out our guide below for answers to the most common face mask questions: when and why you should wear one, how to choose the right mask for you, and how to fit it properly. 

Why Should You Wear a Mask?

The coronavirus has caused over a million deaths worldwide. The virus is commonly spread through mouth and nose secretions from an infected person, such as sneezing or coughing. 

You may not show symptoms of the coronavirus for up to two weeks, but can still be infected. Even though you feel fine, you could transfer it to others around you. 

Wearing a mask prevents this spread. 

How Effective Are Face Masks? 

Coronavirus face masks are one of the easiest and most effective ways of slowing the virus. Combined with other practices like social distancing and hand washing, wearing a mask helps keep you and your loved ones protected.

Masks block other people’s respiratory droplets from reaching your nose and mouth. Wearing a mask also prevents you from transmitting your respiratory droplets to those around you. 

The more people wear a face mask, the less likely droplets are able to spread the virus.

While wearing a mask should be your first line of defense, you should practice other prevention methods. Always maintain 6 feet of social distance, and wash your hands regularly.

Keeping shared surfaces clean and disinfected is also important. You can learn about essential cleaning and sanitation practices on our blog.

When Should You Wear a Mask?

Following CDC guidelines, you should wear a mask in public settings where you're unable to socially distance.

Many states require face masks in public, but each state has different policies. Certain jurisdictions or retailers may also make their own mask rules, especially if the city has been particularly badly hit by the coronavirus. 

Certain retail chains across America now mandate masks inside the store. Exceptions to these rules include children under the age of two and those with existing serious breathing issues who cannot wear a mask safely. 

What Are the Best Types of Face Masks?

There are three main types of face mask virus protection. These are cloth masks, surgical masks, and N95 masks.

If you're in a pinch, homemade cloth masks work fine. You can make these from materials you have at home, but they are not as effective as other types of masks. Cloth masks are reusable but should be washed regularly to keep them clean.

Surgical masks are blue, loose-fitting masks that block the virus from reaching others; the type you might see a medical professional wearing. These have several folds to ensure a close fit, and often have wire in the bridge of the nose to enhance fit. These masks are inexpensive and disposable. 

The N95 is the best face mask option for keeping both you and others safe. They block 95% of harmful particles and are the gold standard when it comes to facial coverings. While disposable, N95 masks are classified as “limited reuse”, and can be safely re-worn by the same person multiple times, as long as the mask stays functional and is stored properly. Once exclusively for doctors on the front lines of the pandemic, an increase in N95 mask supply means that civilians can now enjoy the same level of protection. 

How Do You Wear a Mask?

Wear your mask over your nose and mouth.

Do not wear it over your chin, or under your nose. You can still become infected, or make others sick if your nostrils are exposed. 

Refrain from touching the mask as this will transfer germs to your face and hands. For best results, use a new disposable mask or wash reusable masks after every use. 

The Best Coronavirus Face Masks for Protection 

Don't endanger others or yourself. 

Wear a mask that has the best chance of keeping the coronavirus at bay.

While a cloth mask might get you through the grocery store, you'll want a more protective option if you're out in public often, are a front line worker, are immunocompromised, or have a loved one at home who is. 

Check out our selection of disposable surgical and N95 masks to keep you, your family, and your staff safe and healthy.