Reduce the spread of COVID-19: Improve the fit and filtration of your mask

February 26, 2021 Providence News Team

The CDC recently released studies that emphasize the importance of mask filtration and having a well-fitting mask to prevent the spread of infection and exposure to COVID-19.

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets that come from the nose and mouth. A common problem with some masks is that there can be gaps between the mask and the face, causing respiratory droplets to leak in and out around the edges of the mask. The help prevent air leakage, masks should fit snugly against the sides of the face and not have gaps.

The CDC recommends the following actions to improve mask fit and filtration:

  • Knotting and tucking: Knot the ear loops of a 3-ply face mask where they join the edge of the mask, then fold and tuck the unneeded material under the edges.
  • Nose wires: Use masks that have a nose wire (a metal strip along the top of the mask) to help prevent air leakage at the top of the mask. To get a good fit, make sure to bend the nose wire over your nose to conform to your face. Nose wires can also help to prevent fogging of eyeglasses.


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