“Research shows that individuals who are asymptomatic, meaning not displaying symptoms, can still be carriers of COVID-19,” explained Elizabeth Ransom, MD, FACS, executive vice president and chief physician executive at Baptist Health. “Because the virus typically spreads through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, or talking, wearing a mask or cloth face covering can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Recent research from the CDC also indicates that masks can filter virus particles to protect the wearer in addition to others. Wearing a mask can cut down on the amount of droplets you inhale, helping reduce how severe your illness is if you are infected with COVID-19.
However, not all masks are created equal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends against wearing masks with exhalation valves or face shields without masks. These two face coverings are also no longer permitted at Baptist Health facilities.
To help keep yourself and others safe, the CDC recommends you wear a mask that snugly covers the nose and mouth with two layers of washable, breathable fabric.
Acceptable masks fitting CDC and Baptist Health guidelines include:
- Homemade masks
- Surgical or procedural masks
- Dust masks
- N95 masks without vents