CDC Releases Updated Information on Effective Mask Use

Published: Feb. 17, 2021
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On Feb. 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated information on improving the efficacy of masks to provide additional source control and protection to wearers. 

The two most important factors on mask efficacy are fit and layers. The graphic below is intended as guidance for those who wish to implement some of the suggestions from CDC.

The universal masking policy or PPE requirements for Methodist Health System is NOT changing

Suggestions from the CDC are as follows:

Improve How Your Mask Protects You

When choosing a mask, look at how well it fits, how well it filters the air and how many layers it has. Make sure your mask fits snugly against your face. Gaps can let air with respiratory droplets leak in and out around the edges of the mask. Pick a mask with layers to keep your respiratory droplets in and others’ out. A mask with layers will stop more respiratory droplets from getting inside your mask or escaping from your mask if you are sick. Well-fitting medical procedure masks are recommended by the CDC.

Types of Masks

There are many types of masks you can use to protect yourself and others from getting and spreading COVID-19. Cloth masks can be made from a variety of fabrics, and many types of cloth masks are available. Don't wear cloth masks with exhalation valves or vents, with a single layer or that are made of thin fabric that don’t block light. Disposable face masks are widely available. Do not wear multiple disposable masks, disposable masks with gaps around the sides of the face or nose, or masks that are wet or dirty. Nylon coverings are not recommended for medical settings.

Your Guide to Masks

Wear a mask correctly and consistently for the best protection. Be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on a mask, and don't touch the mask when wearing it. If you have to often touch/adjust your mask, it doesn’t fit you properly, and you may need to find a different mask or make adjustments.