NATIONWIDE — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidance on wearing face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic, advising people not to use masks with vents or valves.
What You Need To Know
- CDC advises against using face masks with valves or vents
- Experts say valves/vents allow virus to escape from mask
- Officials say tightly-woven cloth masks are ideal
The CDC still encourages people to wear masks to curb the spread of COVID-19, but health officials say they should not have valves or vents that could allow the virus to escape the mask.
On its website, the public health agency stated, "Masks with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled out through holes in the material."
"It should be really tightly-woven fabric. Bedsheets make ideal facial masks, because they can be cleaned. And the woven material is really tight. So again, anything like that works well,” said public health expert Gavin MacGregor-Skinner at Penn State University.
MacGregor-Skinner said materials that stretch won’t make a good mask because it lets “respiratory drops escape."
Public health officials say top-of-the line N-95 surgical masks should not be worn by members of the public and should be reserved for front-line healthcare workers.
Along with other preventive measures, such as social distancing and frequent hand-washing, the CDC says cloth face masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially in public spaces.