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Why Wear a Mask?

Mask Effectiveness

July 22, 2020

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the effectiveness of mask usage has been called into question. Yet, our medical community can attest to the efficacy behind the use of face masks.

Reducing the Spread of COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) state that wearing a mask helps to reduce the spread of the virus when people cough, talk or sneeze and release respiratory droplets. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Those droplets evaporate into fine particles that may linger in the air.

The face mask traps larger droplets before they can evaporate. Wearing a mask when you are out in public can prevent spreading COVID-19 before you even know you are sick. Masks provide an extra layer of protection for everyone. Think about this example proposed by Doctors Amy Price and Larry Chu from Stanford Medicine. If two people are wearing masks, the viral particles can travel about five feet away from each individual. When an infected person is not wearing a mask, those particles can float through the air 30 feet or more and stay alive for up to 30 hours.

We are so fortunate to live in a beautiful, diverse and vibrate county. Wearing a mask protects yourself, those around you and the community. Let’s make sure our future generations and community visitors are able to enjoy Polk County too. Encourage everyone to wear a mask when out in public.

Find information on COVID-19 at polkcountyiowa.gov. You can also find DIY mask tutorials here.

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

Nola Aigner Davis

Nola Aigner Davis, MA is the public health communications officer for Polk County Health Department.