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COVID-19: The Value of Masks

May 13th, 2020 | 1 min. read

By David Pong, M.D.

Masks are important tools in stopping the spread of COVID-19. How do they work? Why should you wear one? What are the different types of masks? And how often should you wash your mask? Watch the video below for answers to these questions and read on for a recap. 

How do cloth masks work? 

Cloth masks are at their best when preventing the wearer of the mask from spreading the virus to other people, either when they are already sick, asymptomatic, or even pre-symptomatic. 

How do N95 masks or surgical masks work? When should they be used? 

N95 masks and surgical masks are best used in a medical setting, when the amount of virus in the environment is quite a bit higher. The intention of these masks is to reduce the transmission of the virus to the person wearing the mask. 

How can wearing a mask be a cultural tool? 

Wearing a mask in your neighborhood, in your workplace, or around your community is a way to show you care about those around you. You are essentially saying, "I care about you. I am member of this community. And my intention is to not give this infection to you, even if I don't know if I've got it."

How often should you wash a mask? 

Cloth masks should be washed every day. It's helpful to have multiple cloth masks available so you can rotate through your supply while others are washing or drying. 

N95 masks or surgical masks are intended to be worn through the course of one day and discarded. 

Looking for more COVID-19 content? Check out our videos on antibody testing, the value of masks, and more, here. 

David Pong, M.D.

As a board-certified family medicine physician and Director of Executive Health at PartnerMD in Richmond, VA, Dr. David Pong provides you with the knowledge and tools to pursue your health goals. With over 25 years of experience, he focuses on developing a trusting relationship with you to empower you to achieve your desired healthy outcomes. Dr. Pong enjoys helping you identify and harness your motivation to make the necessary changes for optimal health.