What is a mask valve, and why are cities banning them?

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Valves will keep you more comfortable, but endanger those around you. In some states and major cities, it’s now mandatory to wear a mask in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That mask could be anything from a handkerchief to a designer cotton mask to a full-blown N95 respirator , so long as you have something between your mouth and nose and the world around you. Read Full Story

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We should all wear masks now

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The CDC is poised to tell everyone to wear a cloth mask in public. Here’s why. A little over a month ago, after the first community-spread cases of COVID-19 were reported near Seattle, U.S. surgeon general Jerome Adams tweeted a message to the American public: “Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!” The standard advice of the WHO and the CDC was the same—people shouldn’t be wearing masks unless they were already infected with the coronavirus or caring for someone with the disease. But now the CDC is expected to change its guidance to say that all people should wear cloth masks in public. Read Full Story

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Scientists reveal an alarming unintended consequence of wearing masks

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You should absolutely wear a mask in public. But experts agree—be careful it doesn’t make you feel invincible. The science is certain at this point : Wearing a mask can help reduce the likelihood of being infected with COVID-19. But masks alone are far from perfect. Over the past two weeks, as masks have gone from optional to mandatory in many states, I’ve noticed a shift in behavior. I’ve seen people wearing masks at small get-togethers and people wearing masks in stores—all without observing the six feet of social distancing recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read Full Story

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There’s a key way to curb the spread of COVID-19. But no one is talking about it

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Fix your indoor air. rWith protests in full swing and many parts of the country open again, it’s easy to forget that COVID-19 is still lurking and anticipated to take an additional 100,000 American lives by October. Scientists now concur that COVID-19 spreads primarily in droplets through the air—be it from coughing or just talking—so public health officials recommend that people wear masks and face shields, and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. But many researchers believe that these guidelines don’t go far enough. To truly help protect people from transmitting COVID-19, we need to fix the air we breathe. Read Full Story

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How to ask friends, coworkers, and strangers to wear a mask

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Experts weigh in on approaching difficult conversations around mask wearing, social distancing, and other safety protocols. As coronavirus rates continue to skyrocket across the United States, many of us are following protective measures, such as washing our hands frequently and wearing masks. But despite the evidence that mask wearing and social distancing decrease COVID-19 infection rates, not everyone is doing their part. In a recent Gallup poll, 18% of Americans said they either “rarely” or “never” wear a mask when outside their homes. Read Full Story

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Why is Walmart requiring masks? Here’s what to know as new rules take effect

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Walmart became the latest retailer to require customers wear masks when entering stores. The move is in line with recommendations from health officials. If you’re still walking around in public without a mask, you can check Walmart off the list of places that will welcome you inside. The retail giant announced today that it will require customers to wear face covering when entering Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Here are a few things to know about the rules: Read Full Story

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Why Swedish towns are banning masks

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Overwhelming evidence suggests that masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19, yet mask bans keep popping up in Sweden. Why? Officials in Halmstad municipality, Sweden, recently forced a teacher to remove their mask and prohibited the use of masks and all forms of PPE in schools. The municipality said there was no scientific evidence for wearing masks, citing the Swedish public health agency. At the time, agency guidance stated that there were “ great risks ” that masks would be used incorrectly. This guidance has since been removed. Read Full Story

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