Scientists have identified the best and worst protection against COVID-19.
A new study has shown that blue surgical face masks are only 10% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. Scientists from the University of Waterloo (Canada) found that most fabric masks are only one-tenth effective against the coronavirus because they do not cover the face properly. The most effective masks for filtering aerosols were N95 or KN95.
A study conducted at the University of Waterloo in Canada showed that N95 or KN95 masks are best at keeping aerosol droplets spreading from the mouth of the mask owner.
It was found that blue tissue surgical masks, which became popular during the coronavirus pandemic, are only 10 percent effective because they do not cover the face properly.
“There is no doubt that wearing any protective masks is useful both for protection in the immediate vicinity and at a distance indoors,” said the head of the study. “However, there is a very serious difference in the effectiveness of different masks when it comes to controlling aerosol droplets.”
Professor and his team say that many people wear masks that do not fit properly to their face, unlike the N95 masks, which fit tightly to the wearer’s face.
This allows aerosol droplets to penetrate through several holes between a person’s face and a fabric mask, contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in crowded places.
The N95 mask, on the contrary, can filter more than 50% of aerosol drops, while the other half is dispersed over the user’s head.
“A lot of this may seem like common sense,” he comments. “For example, there is a reason why practitioners wear N95 masks – they work much better. The novelty here is that we have provided solid figures and rigorous analysis that confirm this assumption.”
Professor’s team added that ventilation tests have shown that even modest ventilation provides about the same level of protection as masks of the highest quality.
Michael Osterholm told CNN that people need to start wearing N95 respirators, which are more effective against COVID-19.
“We are in a very unfortunate situation; we have really led our country into confusion, which really misses the main point, which is that we should focus on the vaccine, the vaccine, and once again the vaccine,” said Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
According to him, “today we know that many of the covering wipes that people wear are not very effective in reducing any movement of the virus in or out.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has been criticized for its confusing stance on masks after the CDC canceled its recommendations on masks. Federal officials in the United States say new data has shown that vaccinated people infected with COVID-19 can transmit the coronavirus, prompting them to recommend that everyone wear a mask indoors in areas with a high degree of transmission of the virus.
Texas and Florida supported the introduction of a ban on the use of masks in school classrooms. Still, on Friday, the Texas Supreme Court rejected Governor Greg Abbott’s latest proposal to abandon the use of masks. On Tuesday, Governor Abbott, who tested positive for coronavirus, is leading the anti-mask movement along with his Republican colleague, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
School boards and local authorities fear a rapid increase in the number of cases of COVID infection in Texas amid the spread of the Delta variant, arguing that masks are necessary for children too young to receive the coronavirus vaccine. However, the virus is claimed to pose almost zero risks to children, and evidence indicating that masks interfere with children’s learning and cause psychological harm.
According to the Texas Department of Health, as of Saturday, almost 19,000 new disease cases have been confirmed in Texas, with 190 new deaths. Florida reported more than 150,000 new cases in a week and nearly 1,500 new coronavirus deaths.
But local officials are encouraged by the position of President Joe Biden, who warned that he is “very concerned” about states like Texas that are challenging masks and promises to provide financial assistance to school districts in Florida that impose masks in defiance of Governor DeSantis.
Meanwhile, leaders of Democratic-led states and cities (including California, Illinois, Kentucky, and New Jersey) quickly began to introduce requirements for wearing COVID-19 masks and vaccines in the face of the Delta variant. In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee introduced mandatory vaccinations for all school employees, including bus drivers and janitors.
U.S. health officials on Wednesday announced plans to release repeat vaccines to all Americans to strengthen their protection amid a sharp increase in the growth of the Delta variant and signs that the effectiveness of vaccines is declining.
President Biden recently “prescribed” mandatory vaccination to various government employees, including federal employees, military personnel, and nurses. The president also praised the companies that prescribe vaccination to their employees and urged others to follow them.