SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With more cities in South Dakota implementing mask mandates, knowing the proper way to wear a mask and which ones are the safest is important.
Dr. Santiago Lopez says when it comes to protecting yourself and others from COVID-19, there are a few things you can do. Social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing a mask properly — something he says is one of the best tools we have when it comes to prevention.
“I always want to make sure is that it’s snugly on my face. There’s no gaps in it. And I hope you can appreciate this, but there’s no gaps on the side. And one of the more important things, I always have to make sure that it’s covering my nose and my mouth perfectly,” Lopez Said.
If your mask isn’t covering your nose, he says droplets can be spread to others.
“When we talk about respiratory secretions, they are what we call droplets or aerosols. So these aerosols are released to others, potentially other individuals while we talk, we sneeze, we cough, we laugh and we sing,” Lopez said.
And with some being asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers, he says wearing a mask is even more important.
“A lot of individuals feel perfectly fine. Don’t have any symptoms, are walking around without any symptoms, but actually have the infection without any symptoms. They have the capacity to transmit the infection to others through their respiratory secretions,” Lopez said.
Lopez recommends avoiding masks with only one layer of fabric and those with an air valve.
“We do not recommend using a valve because you can expel the viral particles. There’s some new ones now, new generation ones that are better, but the vast majority of them, we do not recommend,” Lopez said.
He adds that wearing a mask will not increase your risk of contracting COVID, or any other health issue.
“Wearing a mask will not increase any type of infection, it will not increase your risk of acquiring skin infections, acquiring bacterial sinusitis or any lung infection wearing a mask,” Lopez said.