Should I put on a mask in public?

As the CDC continues to study the spread and effects of the coronavirus, researchers have learned that a significant portion of individuals with the virus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that those who develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people in proximity via speaking, coughing or sneezing. Wearing a mask, therefore, is an effective way to protect yourself and others.

Can the public use any mask?

For everyday use, a mask made of high-quality surgical grade material is adequate and comfortable to wear.



Mask Comparisons 

Surgical masks include masks that are labeled for procedures such as surgical, general medical and dental. These masks are primarily intended to protect others from the wearer's saliva and respiratory secretions. They may also help protect the wearer against exposure to microorganisms and particles in the air and they are designed to loosely cover the mouth and nose.


N95 respirators are designed to use for special purposes and are tight-fitting, creating a seal around the face (mouth and nose). This makes the mask uncomfortable and not well suited for general purpose and longer wear use.


Both masks use a specialized filter (melt blown polypropylene) that captures up to 95% of the airborne particles.


Cloth masks do not provide virus protection although they may be help prevent people from touching their face.

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