New Face Mask Guides
I have always stated that my mask helps me and your mask helps you but the CDC is now revealing your mask is for yourself and all you come into contact with. I have always been a strong mask advocate having seen first hand how well it protects myself and my patients. So I’m really glad the CDC updated its guidance. Why have they done this? Easy, because of science. Multiple studies have shown the effectiveness of masks at stoping spread by blocking droplets. Droplets are the virus’s main mode of transportation, we stop those, we stop the spread. Masks can stop exhaled droplets from spreading out into the air, but it also works in reverse. Masks can stop a person from inhaling exhaled droplets that might be in the air.
The CDC cites several studies where masks made a difference. The first concerns an outbreak that happened aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier. A study found that masks and face-covering reduced the risk of getting infected by 70%. This is incredible as these men and women work in close quarters and were at serious risk of infection. Now, another investigation looked at two symptomatically ill hair stylists. And of the 67 customers that were interviewed and tested, none of them had caught the virus from the hairstylists. They all had worn masks.
How Does a Mask Work?
Droplets roughly the size of 20-30 microns or larger can be stopped by an average cloth mask. In addition, fine droplets can also be stopped, though not quite as consistently. A multi-layer cloth mask has shown that they can block between 50 to 70% of fine droplets and particles which is fabulous.
Does Thread Count Matter?
Thread count does matter. Higher thread counts around 180 are much more effective than lower thread counts. To test this, hold your mask up to the light, if you can see a lot of light coming through your thread count is too low. Remember we don’t were masks because we are sick, we wear them so that we don’t get sick or because we may be contagious even though we feel fine. More than 50% of transmissions come from people who have no symptoms. And don’t know they’re carrying the virus. So please let’s take mask-wearing seriously.