Cloth masks may be fashionable but they’re not the most effective

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 7:44 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As omicron rapidly spreads, experts are looking at whether it’s time to upgrade beyond the cloth mask for better protection.

Disposable, surgical, cloth, N95, there are plenty of types of masks.

Health officials say N95 masks should be saved for hospital workers.

As Dr. Rodger MacArthur, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases medical college of Georgia at AU holds up a disposable mask, he says “This blue one is the go-to one for me.”

Cloth masks became a new outlet of self-expression, all the different colors, and customizations you can imagine, but our local health officials say they aren’t going to make the cut anymore.

“Things like that are very comfortable and they have good coverage on the face, but they don’t fit so tight and so air and any virus that’s in the air and come through the sides,” he said.

MacArthur says medical surgical masks are the best for everyday activities while getting the most protection.

“It’s not simply being so close to somebody that you sneeze on them you, splatter them with droplets. It’s in the air we’re breathing,” said MacArthur.

It all comes down to time.

If you’re talking with someone who is COVID positive and neither of you are wearing a mask, you can be infected in minutes or seconds.

He says he keeps a disposable in his pocket.

“I just fold it up,” he said.

You can get surgical masks at any of your local pharmacies or buy them in bulk on Amazon.

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