CDC ON MASKS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has this to say about homemade masks:
In settings where face masks are not available, health care personnel might use homemade masks (bandanna, scarf, neck warmer, etc., in a pinch) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered personal protective equipment, since their capability to protect health care personnel is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face. More on masks The CDC and others have discouraged using N95 masks at home. All available N95 masks, they say, should go to medical professionals.
Homemade masks SHOULD NOT be used instead of social distancing and staying at home, experts say. But they can augment those efforts if you have to leave the house to shop, walk the dog, etc. Masks made from cotton and elastic certainly won’t harm anyone at home or when going out, as long as people are following other recommended protocols to stay safe.
Some medical personnel are wearing homemade masks on top of N95s so they can use them for longer periods.
If you are sick (and especially if you don’t know it yet), homemade masks can be helpful in keeping your droplets from getting on other folks (and possibly keep them from getting sick). L.A. County health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer urged people to use cotton masks this week in tandem with other safety protocols.
Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams tweeted this week that his office asked the CDC if its recommendations on face masks should change in light of new data. Adams stressed that wearing a mask should not supersede social distancing. We may see the CDC recommend masks more in the days ahead.
A report by Johns Hopkins University stated that UV light breaks down the coronavirus protein on any surface, so it can be used to disinfect a mask for reuse. FACE MASKS COMPARED N95 mask Filters out at least 95% of airborne particles.
Tight fitting, allows minimal leakage. Surgical mask Fluid-resistant, protects wearer against large droplets. Does not protect against smaller airborne particles. Loose-fitting and can allow leakage around the edges.