Experts say ‘Masks are still a really important part of our fight against COVID’

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The state Department of Health website lists all of South Dakota’s 66 counties as having a high community spread of COVID-19. Doctors say masks are still a good tool for lowering that spread.

Whether it’s a cloth mask, disposable surgical mask, or a KN95, the CDC has in-depth guidelines on their website for mask-wearing.

The CDC says when choosing a mask, make sure it fits well, has good filtration and has many layers to it.

“So what they want you to avoid is a mask that has only one layer or a mask that really has a lot of gaps,” Hoover said. “So it might be a very good filtration material over your face, but if you have gaps here and here and here, then air and potentially viruses are leaking back and forth.”

Dr. Susan Hoover, an infectious disease specialist with Sanford Health, says an N95 mask may have the best filtration, but there are ways to make sure other masks are working efficiently too.

“So CDC recommends a surgical mask or a cloth mask with multiple layers,” Hoover said. “And they suggest that if the cloth mask if either kind of mask doesn’t fit you very well, that you can actually put a cloth mask over the surgical mask in order to make the fit around the edges better.”

Dr. Hoover says it’s important to not leave your nose hanging out of your mask or leave your chin exposed.

“I wish that we had some better way of shutting this down,” Hoover said. “But in addition to being vaccinated and staying home when sick, masks are still a really important part of our fight against COVID.”

Other ways you can make sure your mask is fitting you properly is by choosing a mask with a nose wire or using a mask fitter.

The CDC says if you are going to double mask, don’t do it with a KN95 mask.

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