Local doctors discuss different types of masks

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Medical officials at Raleigh General Hospital said wearing any mask is better than no mask at all.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends procedural or surgical masks because they are form fitting. A bandanna or a buff can also work, but sometimes the fabric can be too thin. Nancy Edwards, and infection preventionist at RGH, said an N-95 masks works, but it is not the best for stopping the spread of the virus.

“If you’ve tested positive for the Coronavirus, you’d wear a procedural mask and that’s what the CDC sites and thats what I would wear. I would not put an N-95 mask on a patient,” Edwards explained.

Edwards said unless you get an N-95 mask fitted to your face, it is not secure. Because of the valves on the mask, it will not do its job from stopping the virus droplets from spreading to those around you.

The CDC also gives guidelines on how to handle procedural masks once you take them off, as well as how to clean reusable masks.

If you are wearing a procedural mask, Edwards recommends when you take it off, you fold it in half, with the inside folding over the outside, that way you do not touch the side which could come in contact with virus carrying droplets.

“You want to be sure that you use bleach on your mask, which is four teaspoons to a quart of water if you are hand washing them for example. You want to make sure that your bleach is not expired and you want to be sure that your bleach is not the bleach that you use for colored items because that is not a bleach, that will not disinfect your cloth mask,” Edwards said.

Edwards said no matter what mask you have, it is better to wear one than nothing at all. She said you can wear a reusable mask as long as you wash it before every use.

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