As a precautionary measure, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), WHO (World Health Organization), and many local public health officials recommend all people wear face masks to protect against and slow the spread of the COVID-19. New sets of information have been shared daily about the proper use and handling of face masks, together with a continuous reminder to implement social distancing and washing of hands.
There are three types of face masks that you need to know and how they protect the person and people around them.
When to Wear a Face Mask?
Experts believe that the virus spread quickly through tiny droplets caused by sneezing, coughing, and talking that can land on any surface or stay in the air for quite some time. It is where face masks help prevent these tiny droplets from reaching out surfaces. It is also good to wear a face mask when social distancing is hard to implement.
Wear a face mask when:
- Going out in a public space
- Taking care of someone who has been infected by the virus
- Coughing or sneezing
Here are the things you need to learn about the three types of face masks.
A cloth mask is worn by most people in their effort to limit the spread of the virus. For people who are not showing any symptoms, this is the recommended type of mask to use when going to a social gathering. Health officials urge people to wear cloth masks in any public setting while maintaining social distancing, and most specifically in situations where it is hard to maintain.
This kind of face mask is not a replacement for the N95 or KN95. It is washable compared to the other types, and there are plenty of designs available to choose from. Some people go and shop collection of masks to try which fit them comfortably. Make sure the type of cloth mask you purchase covers your mouth and nose to reduce the spread of germs.
Disposable Face Mask
A disposable mask helps block droplets coming through the air that may contain viruses and bacteria from entering through your nose and mouth. It is essential that your disposable mask is FDA approved. There are many counterfeit masks that are being sold in the market that can be potentially dangerous and not be able to protect the wearer from the virus. Health officials suggest everyone be a conscious and smart consumer. Disposable masks are also discarded after a single-use. Do not forget to wash your hands after disposing of used masks.
This type of face mask is specialized masks that filter out at least 95% of particles from entering through the nose or mouth. It is similar to the N95 mask, which is used in the United States, except this type of face mask is produced and governed by the Chinese officials for safety standards. However, the FDA approved the use of KN95 when surgical grade masks are not available. It is most commonly worn by medical professionals and front line workers only.
While the safety of everyone is the utmost concern of health officials, having a face mask and using it correctly is always a good preventive measure to do in addition to social distancing and washing of hands.