What types of masks should I wear for COVID-19? Are all masks the same?

ppe, disposable face masks, Daily Face Masks 99% BFE

3-Ply isn’t just a trusty toilet paper

What are the different types of masks available to me during COVID-19 and are all protective masks the same? According to the CDC, masks are recommended to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) spreads through respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs, sneezes, talks or raises their voice.  Masks should be worn whenever in a public setting.  The main intention is to prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading to others.  A new study found that SARS-CoV-2 can live on the outside of a facemask for 7 days.  It is very important that masks are disposed of, laundered, or disinfected properly. 

A popular discussion point is what mask is best?

N95 Respirators

N95 Respirators and Surgical Masks rank highest.  They seal tightly around the face so that few particles can go in or out.  N95 respirators should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.  

Surgical Masks

3-ply Surgical Masks rank second and perform well against the spread of coronavirus.  The nonwoven fabric is great for the reduction of droplets.  3-ply masks are 3 times more effective at blocking virus-containing droplets than homemade masks.  Surgical masks should be thrown away daily.       

We are Guardian have 3-ply daily masks available on our store here: https://shop.guardiansports.com/collections/ppe/products/daily-civilian-masks

Face Shields

There is not enough data for the CDC to recommend Face Shields for use against COVID-19.  Face shields primarily protect the wearer’s eyes.  It is not known whether the spread of droplets will be reduced.  Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks. The wearer should disinfect the face shield after each use

Cloth Face Masks

There are a lot of retailers offering stylish cloth face masks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.  They may provide a false sense of security for the wearer.  Studies have found that cloth masks are half as effective as surgical masks and 50% less effective than N95 respirators.  The wearer needs to launder the mask daily.