Studies show that there are two important reasons for wearing a mask. Facial coverings provide some protection for the wearer but more importantly, they prevent the wearer from spreading the virus to others. Because COVID-19 has shown to be most easily spread before an infected individual begins to show symptoms, it is crucial that masks become a daily necessity even if you are not showing any symptoms to help reduce the spread of the virus.
There are a few different protective face mask options making it difficult to know which mask is right for you. Before we dive into the specifics about each protective face mask, let’s first outline your mask options we’ll be going over:
- 3-Ply Disposable Face Mask
- Cloth Reusable Face Masks or Covering
3 Ply Face Mask or Surgical Mask
3 Ply Face Masks are a great option for everyday use for adults and most children. They are designed to provide 3 layers of protection against bacteria, viruses, and other large droplets or bodily fluids while also being comfortable to wear and breathable.
3 Ply Face Masks are able to help prevent the wearer from being exposed to airborne pollutants, allergens, bacteria, and viruses while also protecting those nearby from the wearer’s coughs and sneezing with up to 95% efficiency when worn properly. They can sometimes allow leakage to occur around the edges when the wearer inhales.
Properly worn 3 Ply masks can protect very well against particles 3.0 microns or larger with up to a 95% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency.
Overall, 3 Ply masks are a great option for facial coverings. We recommended the using the 3 Ply protective face masks for use on everyday errands such as trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, post office, or when in public areas where others are in close proximity
Cloth Face Mask
Cloth masks have become a very convenient option during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can find options in all colors and patterns to match your personal style. However, while cloth masks can help in protecting the user from spreading a virus or bacteria to others, they do not provide the wearer much protection from others due to their loose fit.
Cloth face masks do provide one upside to disposable 3 Ply and KN95 masks in that they are washable and can be worn multiple times. It is important, however, to be aware of where and how your cloth mask was made as many homemade masks may not be as effective as the 3 Ply or KN95 face masks at preventing the spread of disease. Infact, many cloth masks that users are turning to were not designed to protect against bacteria and viruses at all.
While wearing a cloth mask is absolutely better than no mask at all, they tend to leave much more open space allowing for leakage when the wearer both inhales and exhales therefore lessening their effectiveness at preventing the spread of COVID 19.