Can wearing face masks actually reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus? Yes, wearing face masks along other preventive measures such as practicing hand hygiene and social distancing can help reduce the spread of the virus So, why wasn’t wearing face masks recommended during the initial phase of the global pandemic? It’s because, during that time, experts didn’t know the extent to which COVID+ people could spread the virus before showing the symptoms. It was also observed that people having COVID-19 did not show any symptoms. Both the groups were unknowingly spreading the virus to others. While the novel coronavirus spread like fire, the pandemic led to the emergence of many face mask manufacturers and PPE manufacturing companies worldwide. Co-Defend is America’s leading Personal Protective Equipment expert committed to supplying healthcare systems and people in the USA and worldwide with high-quality, medical-grade PPE including medical protective clothing, N95 respirators, surgical face masks, gloves, medical devices and more.
Since COVID-19 spreads between people through direct, indirect, or close contact with COVID-19+ people via nose and mouth secretions such as saliva, respiratory secretions, or secretion droplets, wearing a fabric face mask is an important measure in slowing the spread of the virus. As the whole world is gripped by the fear of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, many face mask manufacturers witnessed a sudden spike in the demand for face masks, especially N95 and surgical masks. Where healthcare systems were facing challenges due to the shortage of personal protective equipment, the scarcity of N95 and medical-grade surgical masks also added to their problems.
The WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the virus. The CDC recommends cloth face masks for the public, reserving the surgical and N95 masks for healthcare staff.
Types of Face Masks and How Do They Work
- Medical-Grade Surgical Masks
Surgical masks or medical masks are loose-fitting disposable masks that protect the user’s nose and mouth from contact with droplets, sprays, and splashes that may contain the virus or bacterial germs. These masks are used by healthcare workers and should be thrown away immediately after using them. Although surgical masks are easy to wear and effective, they are incapable of filtering out the most viral particles.
As of now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not fully approved any type of surgical mask claiming complete protection against the coronavirus, however, these masks may provide some protection when there’s a shortage of N95 masks.
- N95 Masks
The N95 mask is a type of respirator that offers more protection than a surgical mask. It can filter out both large and small particles when the wearer inhales. As the name suggests, the N95 mask can block 95% of very small particles. Some N95 masks even come with valves that make them easier to breathe through. With N95 masks having valves, unfiltered air is released when the user exhales.
Healthcare staff must be trained on the proper use of N95 masks and must qualify a fit test to confirm a proper seal before using the mask in the workplace. The increased demand for N95 masks led to the shortage of N95 masks as the face mask manufacturers could not balance the supply-demand of the N95 masks and surgical masks.
Just like surgical masks, N95 masks are also intended to be deposed off after use. However, researchers are testing and finding ways to disinfect N95 masks to extend their use.
When a wearer uses N95 masks having one-way valves, the valve releases the unfiltered air when the wearer breathes out. Thus, this type of mask doesn’t actually prevent the wearer from spreading the virus. This is the reason why some places have banned the use of such face masks.
- Cloth Face Masks
A cloth mask is designed to trap droplets that are released when the wearer talks, coughs, or sneezes. If everyone wears cloth masks, it can help slow the spread of the virus by people who have COVID-19 but aren’t aware.
Cloth face coverings can be useful in reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, if used by people when going in public settings. Countries that needed huge supply of face masks, social distancing, and testing isolation early in the pandemic have successfully reduced the spread of the coronavirus.
To reduce the shortage of N95 and surgical masks, these masks should be reserved for healthcare workers only. Cloth face coverings and masks are easy to find and make and can be washed for reuse. Meanwhile, face mask manufacturers will not be under intense pressure to meet the huge demand for N95 or surgical masks.
Cloth masks can be made from sheets made of tightly woven cotton. You may find the instructions online on how to make cloth masks. Cloth masks should have multiple layers of fabric. The CDC strongly discourages the use of no-sew masks made from bandannas and T-shirts.
The Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Cloth Face Masks
Here are a few points to consider when putting on or removing a cloth mask
- Sanitize or wash your hands before and after every use.
- Make sure the mask covers your mouth, nose, and chin.
- Tie the straps behind your head or use ear loops to make sure it is snug.
- If you accidentally touch your mask, make sure you wash or sanitize your hands.
- If your face mask becomes wet or dirty, use a clean one. Keep the used mask in a sealable bag until you wash it.
- When taking off the mask, make sure you untie it or lift off the ear loops without touching the mask or your face.
- Wash or sanitize your hand immediately after taking your mask off.
- Wash your masks regularly with detergent and water, and dry it completely.
Above all, if you want to stay protected from COVID-19, you must buy high-quality face masks from a reputed and trusted PPE manufacturing company. There are many face mask manufacturers that compromise with the quality to meet the rising demand for face masks. Make sure you research thoroughly before you order face masks from bulk PPE suppliers in USA.
Here are a few face mask precautions:
- Never touch your mask while wearing it
- Don’t put masks on someone who is suffering from a respiratory problem, or is unconscious, or otherwise can’t remove the mask without assistance.
- Avoid putting masks on children below the age of 2 years.
- Never use face masks as a substitute for social distancing.
How to Get Used to Wearing a Face Mask
It can be overwhelming to get used to wearing a face mask as long as the pandemic prevails. Here are a few tips for adjusting to a face mask:
- Go Slow
Try wearing your mask at home for a short time, such as while watching television with your family members, or when you go out for a short walk. Gradually increase the duration until you feel more comfortable.
- Find Your Perfect Fit
When buying masks from face mask manufacturers or bulk PPE suppliers in USA, make sure you buy a mask that is comfortable and easy to breathe. Face masks come in a variety of sizes and styles, so make sure you find the perfect fit.
- Make Use of Masks
Whenever you go out in a public setting, don’t forget to tie one on, or try a scarf or bandanna to cover your mouth and nose.
The Last Say
So, these are some of the useful tips for choosing the right face mask and ways to handle the use of face masks. If these tips don’t help or you have any concern about face masks, talk with your doctor about how to protect yourself and others during the global pandemic.
As a leading personal protective equipment company, Co-Defend directly connects people with the trusted face mask manufacturers and bulk PPE suppliers in USA and Asia to expedite bulk quantities of high-quality personal protective equipment in the fight against COVID-19. If you have any concern related to face masks or you’re looking for bulk PPE suppliers in USA, you may contact us anytime and we’ll happily answer all your queries.
Q.1. When should one wear face masks?
Ans. You should consider wearing face masks when in communities, during home care, and in healthcare settings in areas that have reported cases of COVID-19.
Q.2. Who should wear medical-grade face masks?
Ans. The WHO advises the use of face masks by individuals in the community, public health and infection prevention and control (IPC) professionals, healthcare workers (HCWs), healthcare managers, and community health workers.
Q.3. What are the types of face masks that you offer?
Ans. As one of the leading bulk PPE suppliers in USA, we provide high-quality, medical-grade PPE, and other medical supplies. We offer all the types of medical-grade face masks in various styles and sizes. Some of the face masks that we provide include:
- Ply Non-medical FDA Level 1 Masks
- Non-medical 3-Ply EN149 Masks
- Medical 3-Ply ASTM Level 1 Surgical Masks
- Medical 3-Ply ASTM Level 2 Surgical Masks
- Medical 3-Ply EN14683: L1 Surgical Masks
- Medical 3-Ply EN14683: L2 Surgical Masks
- FDA-registered N95 Respirators
- N95 w/ NIOSH
- KN95 / KF94
- FFP2 and FFP3, and more.
Just contact us to place your order today !