This is how often you should wash the face mask of the clothes.
Claim: If masks can not hold drywall particles, they can not keep out the coronavirus, which is smaller
As the pandemic has continued, social media posts have questioned the effectiveness of some masks to stop the coronavirus due to their inability to stop the transmission of larger particles.
“The average size of drywall dust particles is 3 microns,”; reads a Facebook post on July 7th. “The average size of a coronavirus particle is 0.3 microns. If masks can not prevent the penetration of drywall dust, how can they prevent something 10x smaller to pass? “
The post includes two images of a person with a surgical earlobe mask resting under his chin and lines of white powder on the sides of the nose and around the eyes, above where a properly dressed mask will sit. So far, one post has more than 20,000 shares and over 1,300 comments, and many more versions appear on Facebook.
USA TODAY has reached the user who posted the viral meme for comment.
Fact checking: What’s true and what is wrong with face masks?
What are the recommendations for the mask?
With more than 5 million cases and 162,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University data, infectious disease experts still recommend wearing a mask at public and physical distances.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending the use of masks in April.
“Wear face masks in public places where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations. “Covering the face of clothes can slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know how to transmit it to others,” guidelines from the CDC.
More than 30 states have created a nationwide order requiring masks in public places. In non-mandated states, local governments have violated and created their own orders to slow down the spread even at the risk of facing litigation.
Fact checking: The 1964 Civil Rights Act does not create a religion-based exemption from masked mandates
In Florida, where the number of cases continues to rise, more cities and counties are issuing local mandates as Govt. Ron DeSantis has resisted issuing a nationwide order, despite Florida becoming the second state to exceed half a million cases.
“I would like to see the orders of the masks earlier. “Unfortunately, there have been a lot of mixed messages from many countries about broadcasting and whether the masks are useful,” Cindy Prins, Master of Public Health Program Director at the University of Florida, told Fort Myers News-Press.
California alone has experienced more cases in the US than Florida.
While there are significant changes in the filtering capabilities of clothes, surgical masks and N95, all aids in preventing the transmission of coronavirus droplets to some extent, the researchers say.
Fact checking: The document claiming to show the CDC instruction regarding the different types of masks is a forgery
In particle size COVID-19
Dr Amy Price, a research scientist at Stanford University who was involved in changes to the World Health Organization’s mask guidelines, told Stanford Medicine that masks can affect how far viral particles can travel. The droplets holding the viral particles are also larger in size than the virus itself, she noted.
“A lot of people argue that clothes masks can’t be effective because they can’t filter out viral particles, which are extremely small,” she said. “Most of these particles leave the mouth and nose in much larger spots that become smaller through evaporation as they move away from the body. Blocking dots with masks means not so many viral particles escape. So, when all parties in a rally are wearing well-constructed and appropriate masks, it provides an extra layer of security for everyone. “
The COVID-19 particle is indeed about 0.1 microns in size, but it is always associated with something larger.
“There is never a naked virus floating in the air or released by humans,” said Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech who specializes in transmitting viruses from the air.
“Breathing and speaking create particles about 1 micron in size, which will be collected by N95 breath filters with very high efficiency,” said Lisa Brosseau, a retired professor of environmental health sciences and profession who spent her career its exploring respiratory protection.
Surgical masks and cloths do not protect the holder from COVID-19 particles as well as medical N95s. (The type of N95 masks used in construction are not effective against the new coronavirus because they have valves.)
But the CDC notes, “A cloth-covered face may not protect the user, but it may prevent the user from spreading the virus to others.” By wearing a cloth that covers the public, the spread of the virus can be slowed down by reducing transmission to others.
Fact checking: The mask is effective against COVID-19; OSHA does not say they do not offer protection
Evidence shows that masks help slow the spread of COVID-19
A study published in June in the National Academy of Sciences Procedures by researchers from Texas A&M University, University of Texas, California Institute of Technology and University of California, San Diego found that the masks were helpful in reducing the number of infections at points hottest like Italy and New York.
“We conclude that wearing face masks in public corresponds to the most effective means of preventing interpersonal transmission, and this free practice, together with extensive testing, quarantine and follow-up of contacts, presents the most likely possibility of combating stop the COVID-19 pandemic, before developing a vaccine, ”the scientists write.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa, published in the Journal of Health in June, found similar results.
“The study provides evidence that U.S. states forcing the use of face masks in public had a greater decline in the daily growth rates of COVID-19 after the issuance of these mandates, compared to states that did not issue mandates,” the researchers write.
This study notes that there is controversy about the recommended use of masks and acknowledges that a large-scale study has not been done, but cites asymptomatic cases as a strong reason to encourage face masks.
“Because wearing masks by infected people can reduce the risk of transmission, and because of the high percentage of asymptomatic infected individuals and transmissions, there seems to be a strong case for the effectiveness of widespread use of face masks. “However, there is no direct evidence to date of the magnitude of such effects, particularly at a population level.”
Fact checking: Ear loop masks, household clothes masks, provide protection against COVID-19
Our decision: false
While not all masks are 100% effective in stopping the transmission of coronavirus spots, studies show that masks have been helpful in slowing the spread of the disease and have had a greater effect when comparing areas with and without mandates. The average COVID-19 particle may be smaller than drywall dust, but it is transmitted in droplets that are larger, allowing them to be trapped by face masks. We value this claim as FALSE because it is not supported by our research.
Our sources of fact-checking:
- Johns Hopkins University, August 9, for the COVID-19 dashboard
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 11, “Identification of airborne transmission as the predominant route for the spread of COVID-19”.
- News-Press, July 17, “Lee, Collier among 12 COVID” red zones “in need of masked mandrels, the White House report said.”
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 7, “Considerations for Wearing Masks: Recent Studies.”
- Advisory Board, June 16, “How effective are masks in preventing coronavirus? Here’s what new studies say.”
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 10, “Face Masks against COVID-19: A Summary of Evidence.”
- Stanford Medicine News Center, June 19, “5 questions: Stanford scientists on COVID-19 mask guidelines.”
- Health Issues, June 16, “Community Face Mask Use and COVID-19: Evidence from a Natural State Mandate Experiment in the US”
- World Health Organization, June 7, Questions & Foreword: Masks and COVID-19
- USA TODAY, June 11, “Fact Check: No, N95 filters are not too large to stop COVID-19 particles”
- Fact Check AFP, July 13, “Drywall powder penetration does not mean face masks are ineffective against coronavirus”
Devan Patel is a public security company reporter for the Naples Daily News. Reach him at Devan.Patel@naplesnews.com or via Twitter at @DevanJPatel.
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