CDC Says Do Not Wear Masks With Vents Or Valves: If your social media feeds are like ours, every other ad is for face masks. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the need to wear a mask increases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta contends masks help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. The CDC, World Health Organization and other experts have encouraged the proper use of face coverings since the beginning of the pandemic.
A recent study by Duke University researchers tested a variety of masks to determine their effectiveness to block droplets that carry the coronavirus. They found that gaiter masks, or neck fleeces, were the least effective.
But there is another kind of mask the CDC wants you to ditch: those with vents or valves.
The reason for wearing a mask is not as much to protect yourself as it is to protect others, the CDC says.
“The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. Masks with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled out through holes in the material.
This can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks if they have an exhalation valve or vent,” the agency wrote on its site.
Along with properly wearing a face mask, the CDC continues to encourage social distancing, hand washing, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
How To Wear your Mask Correctly
- Wash your hands before putting on your mask
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
- Make sure you can breathe easily
- CDC does not recommend use of masks or cloth masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent
Wear a Mask to Protect Others
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect others in case you’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms
- Wear a mask in public settings when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when it may be difficult for you to stay six feet apart
- Wear a mask correctly for maximum protection
- Don’t put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead
- Don’t touch the mask, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect
Follow Everyday Health Habits
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time
- Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
Take Off Your Mask Carefully, When You’re Home
- Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
- Handle only by the ear loops or ties
- Fold outside corners together
- Place mask in the washing machine (learn more about how to wash masks)
- Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.