Mask Confusion Settled: Here’s How Effective They Are

New study confirms consensus that masks protect the wearer and others

Sizing up the problem

When people talk or just breathe, a constant stream of respiratory droplets are emitted, which from an infected person also pack tiny coronavirus particles. Larger droplets, roughly the diameter of a human hair, fall to the ground quickly, typically within six feet or so. Smaller droplets, called aerosols, are invisible and can remain airborne and infectious for minutes or hours.

Materials matter

Material from vacuum bags worked best, filtering 80% of 2-micron particles, and more than half of particles 0.5 microns and bigger.

A No-Excuses Guide to Wearing and Caring for Face Masks

We’ll be wearing masks for a while. Everything you need to know about this new fixture in our lives.

Solid consensus

Despite some outlier claims that masks don’t work, leading experts on the transmission of airborne viruses are unified in proclaiming the value of masks for lowering risk of Covid-19 spread. A new study from the CDC adds to the evidence by showing that infection rates in Kansas were lower in counties that enforced mask mandates.



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