How face masks work and which types offer the best COVID-19 protection
Trump: I believe in wearing face masks
President Trump discusses governors and state coronavirus mask mandates.
Face masks are a simple way to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus through talking, coughing or sneezing, scientists and public-health specialists say. But they need to be worn properly.
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While some types of masks are more effective than others, public-health officials say any face covering — even a bandanna — is better than nothing.
Here’s how different types of masks stack up, and how they are meant to be used.
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Cut from a different cloth
Common masks fall into three categories: cloth masks or coverings like gaiters, intended to prevent an infected person from spreading the virus by catching large droplets; surgical masks, with a more sophisticated design also meant to prevent the wearer from spreading diseases; and N95 masks, which protect the wearer as well, and fit tightly to the face.
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