Earlier this year, there were many shortages on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which included hand sanitizers, face masks, face shields, and gloves. Many individuals are wearing a variation of face masks to protect themselves against COVID-19.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has continued to recommend people to wear cloth face masks to protect themselves when they’re out in public. You may be wondering, “What is the best mask to wear to protect ourselves? And how do we keep them clean?” Although there aren’t many studies conducted on level of protection for face masks against COVID-19, a few studies have mentioned the following:
Cloth Face Masks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended people to wear cloth face masks in public places when it’s difficult to social distance. A study published on Jama Insights indicated that COVID-10 travels up to 27 ft through droplets known as aerosols. Aerosols contain the coronavirus which is in a form of sneeze, cough or breathing. CDC has announced that cloth face masks must:
- Allow individual to breathe freely under face mask
- Can be washed and dried without getting worn out or damaged
- Can be tied and secured easily
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has claimed face shields does not recommended face shields to be used as a substitute for face masks. It can be most effective with a use of a surgical or cloth mask underneath the face shield. Face shields provide better source of protection when it is a hooded face shield, and the face shield wraps around the side of the individuals face and is below the chin.
The FDA has said surgical masks are a loose-fitting, disposal device that creates a barrier between the mouth and the nose of the wearer and potential contaminants in the immediate environment. The effectiveness of surgical masks can depend of the thickness of the mask, and its ability to protect you from contact with droplets. Although extensive studies haven’t ruled out the level or protection surgical masks provide, they are still a good way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if they are worn correctly.
Surgical Masks are available through ADV-Care Pharmacy and can be purchased by clicking this link!
N95 masks, as mentioned by the FDA, are test for fluid resistance, filtration efficiency and biocompatibility and should not be shared or reused. The N95 mask filter out 95% of all particles with a certain size, and a study found the mask to filter out 95% of particles with sizes between 0.1-0.3 microns wide, which includes the size of coronavirus droplets.
For N95 masks to be most effective, make sure you do the following:
- Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after touching your mask
- If the mask has any noticeable damage or is worn out, do not continue to wear it
- Ensure that you’re wearing the correct size of the mask and that it fits your face
N95 Masks are available through ADV-Care Pharmacy and can be purchased by clicking this link!
Bottom line? Cloth masks can be easily made at home. You can find face shields, surgical masks, and N95 masks at ADV-Care Pharmacy and can be found here!