As wearing a mask becomes part of people’s daily lives, they will need to choose which type of mask is appropriate for whatever setting they will be in. There are a variety of masks that can be bought or made for use in different locations.
1. Face Masks
People who are not health care workers have different options for materials, shapes and sizes of the masks used in their daily lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use a mask while out in public, while also observing the proper social distancing techniques. Masks can be made or purchased in a variety of types, such as a flat mask or masks that fit snugly around the face.
2. Surgical Masks
Surgical masks may or may not come with a face shield. They are loose-fitting and work by creating a physical barrier between the wearer and environmental contaminants. Surgical masks are not effective at blocking small particles in the air due to the unsealed fit. They should not be used multiple times or shared with others. When they become soiled or hard to breathe through, they should be thrown away and replaced with a new mask.
3. N95 Respirators
Medical first responders and other health care workers use N95 respirators during their daily activities. They fit very close to the face and have an efficient filtration system in regard to airborne particles. The edges form a seal around the mouth and nose and are not designed for use by people with facial hair or children. They should not be shared or reused. The respirators are not recommended for use by the general public according to the CDC.
Wearing a mask can be a great way to stay healthy and help others to stay healthy. Choose the correct mask to maximize protection in social and work environments.