Study: Which Masks Are The Least Effective

Schools are reopening, amusement parks are welcoming back visitors, and outdoor dining is the new way to eat out. But despite the signs that life is returning back to normal, the coronavirus pandemic has gone nowhere. That’s why a group of researchers at Duke University created a simple technique to analyze the effectiveness of various types of masks which have become a critical component in stopping the spread of the virus [Study Source].

Public health experts have spent months emphasizing that masks are one of the most effective tools to help fight the pandemic, and many US states have now introduced some kind of mask requirement. But when testing their effectiveness, researchers discovered that some masks are quite literally useless. Researchers tested 14 commonly available masks including a professionally fitted N95 mask, usually reserved for health care workers. First the test was performed with a speaker talking without wearing a mask. Then they did it again while a speaker was wearing a mask. Each mask was tested 10 times.

Conclusion, the most effective mask was the fitted N95. Three-layer surgical masks and cotton masks, which many people have been making at home, also performed well.

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