This is how often you should wash the fabric mask.


Statement: If the mask cannot block plaster wall particles, they cannot block coronavirus, the smaller virus

As the pandemic continues, social media posts have questioned the effectiveness of some coronavirus-blocking masks since they are not capable of stopping the transmission of larger particles.

“The average size of drywall dust particles is 3 microns,”

; said a July 7 Facebook post. “The average size of a coronavirus particle is 0.3 microns. If the mask cannot prevent drywall dust from getting through, how can they prevent something 10 times smaller than it? “

The post included two pictures of a person wearing a coronary surgical mask under his chin and white dust lines on the sides of his nose and around his eyes, above where a properly worn mask is located. To date, a single post has more than 20,000 shares and more than 1,300 comments, and many other versions have appeared on Facebook.

USA TODAY has reached out to the user who posted the viral meme for comment.

Reality check: What’s right and what’s wrong about the mask?

What are the masking recommendations?

With more than 5 million cases and 162,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the United States, infectious disease experts still recommend wearing a mask in public, according to Johns Hopkins University. body.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending the use of the mask in April.

“Wearing a veil in public places makes it difficult to maintain other ways of creating social distance, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations. Covering your face with cloth can slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and are unaware of the virus, ”instructions from CDC.

More than 30 states have established a statewide order requiring masks to be worn in public places. In states without mandate, local governments have made and established their own orders to slow the spread even risk facing litigation.

Reality check: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not create a religious-based exemption from masking duties

In Florida, where the number of cases continues to soar, many cities and counties are issuing local mandates because Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted statewide orders, even though Florida became the fifth state. two pass half a million cases.

“I wanted to see the mask orders earlier. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of mixed messages from many places about transmission and whether masks are helpful, ”Cindy Prins, Director of the Public Health Program at the University of Florida, told Fort Myers News-Press.

Only California has more cases in the US than Florida.

Although there are significant differences in the filtration capabilities of cloth, surgical, and N95 masks, all of which assist in preventing the transmission of coronavirus drops to some degree, the researchers said. know.

Reality check: The CDC’s documentation claims to show instructions about the masks as fake

Particle size COVID-19

Dr. Amy Price, a research scientist at Stanford University who has been involved in changing the World Health Organization’s mask guidelines, tells Stanford Medicine that masks can impact movement level of virus particles. She notes that the droplets carrying viral particles are also larger in size than the virus itself.

“Many people argue that fabric masks are ineffective because they cannot filter out viral particles, which are extremely small,” she said. “Most of these particles leave the mouth and nose as much larger and smaller droplets due to evaporation as they move away from the body. Trapping droplets with a mask means that almost no viral particles can escape. So when all parties in a gathering wear well-designed, well-fitted masks, it adds an extra layer of safety for everyone. “

The COVID-19 particle is actually about 0.1 micron in size, but it is always associated with something larger.

Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, who specializes in the transmission of viruses in the air, said: “There is never a naked virus in the air or by children. emitter.

“Breathing and talking produce stimulant particles,” said Lisa Brosseau, a retired professor of environmental science and occupational health who has spent her career studying respiratory protection. At about 1 micron, they will be collected by the highly efficient N95 respirator filter.

Surgical masks and cloths do not protect the wearer from medical COVID-19 nor N95 particles. (The N95 mask type used in the formulation is ineffective against the new coronavirus because they have valves.)

However, the CDC notes, “A veil may not protect the wearer, but it can help keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others.” By wearing a cover in a public place, the spread of the virus can be slowed down by reducing transmission to others.

Reality check: The mask is effective against COVID-19; OSHA doesn’t say it offers no protection

Evidence shows that the mask helps slow the spread of COVID-19

A study published in June in the National Academy of Sciences Proceedings by researchers from Texas A&M University, University of Texas, California Institute of Technology and University of California, San Diego found that the mask was tool to reduce the number of infections in hot spots. like Italy and New York.

“We conclude that wearing a mask in public is the most effective means of preventing person-to-person transmission and this inexpensive approach, along with extensive testing, isolation and follow-up. contact, creating the most probable combat opportunity to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic, before vaccine development, ”the scientists wrote.

A study by University of Iowa researchers published in the Journal of Health Affairs in June found similar results.

Research that provides evidence shows that US states that require the use of masks in public have significantly reduced their daily COVID-19 growth rates after issuing these commands than, the researchers wrote. The states did not issue a mandatory order.

That study notes that there is controversy surrounding the recommended use of respirators and admits that a large-scale study has not been conducted, but cites asymptomatic cases as the strong reason. to encourage face masking.

“Because infected people wearing masks can reduce the risk of transmission, and given the high proportion of asymptomatic and infectious people, there seems to be a strong case of the efficacy of the use. Masks have been widely used in reducing the spread of COVID-19. However, so far there is no direct evidence of the magnitude of these effects, especially at the population level. “

Reality check: Ear mask, homemade fabric mask, protects against COVID-19

Our verdict: Wrong

While not all masks are 100% effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus droplets, studies show that they are beneficial in slowing the spread of disease and having an effect. larger when comparing areas with and without quests. The average COVID-19 particles may be smaller than drywall dust but are infused in a larger droplet form, allowing them to be captured with face masks. We rate this claim as FALSE as it is not supported by our research.

Our actual verification source:

  • Johns Hopkins University, Aug. 9, for COVID-19 control panel
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 11, “Determining airborne transmission is the main route for the transmission of COVID-19.”
  • News-Press, July 17, “Lee, Collier of the 12 COVID ‘red zones’ in need of a mask, the White House report said leaked.”
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention, August 7, “Considerations for Wearing Masks: Recent Studies.”
  • Advisory Board, June 16, “How effective is a coronavirus mask? Here’s what the new study says.”
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 10, “Masks against COVID-19: Evaluation of the Evidence.”
  • Stanford Medical News Center, June 19, “5 Questions: Stanford Scientists on COVID-19 mask instructions.”
  • Health Affairs, June 16, “Mask Use Communities and COVID-19: Evidence from a Natural Experiment of State Commissions in the United States.”
  • World Health Organization, June 7, Questions and Answers: Masks and COVID-19
  • USA TODAY, June 11, “Check the facts: No, the N95 filter is not too large to prevent COVID-19 particles”
  • AFP Fact Check, July 13, “Ingress of drywall dust does not mean the mask is ineffective against coronavirus”

Devan Patel is a public safety business reporter for Naples Daily News. Reach out to him at or via Twitter at @DevanJPatel.

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