COVID-19: Debunking common mask myths
According to various medical professionals, wearing a mask is an important practice to help limit the spread of COVID-19, especially in public places and when keeping distance between you and others is difficult.
“The virus is most commonly spread person-to-person by respiratory droplets when someone talks, coughs or sneezes, even from those who are not showing symptoms of the virus,” says Denise Doerr, Infection Preventions at Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinics. “Simple cloth masks can be an effective barrier to reduce droplet and virus spread.”
If you’re not sure what to believe about wearing a mask, here are some common myths and facts about masks to help you make an informed choice.
Does wearing a mask all day cause a buildup of carbon dioxide?
No. Just as oxygen flows through a mask, carbon dioxide flows out.
Are masks only necessary for people with COVID-19 symptoms?
No. We all need to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Coughing and sneezing create high-risk situations, but talking, yelling, exercising and singing can also spread infected respiratory droplets. Even exhaling air can potentially spread COVID-19. Because of all this, at Gundersen (NAME OF LOCATION) we require universal masking within our walls and encourage masking outside of the organization.
Can masks cause self-contamination?
Yes and no. Respiratory droplets can contaminate the outside surface of a mask, which is why it’s important to handle your mask correctly. When reusing a mask, consider the outside contaminated and avoid touching it. You also can protect yourself by:
• Using hand sanitizer or soap and water before and after taking off your mask
• Washing cloth masks daily
It’s also important to remember that wearing a mask after you have been exposed to COVID-19 does not worsen your illness if you develop an infection.
Check out gundersenhealth.org/covid19 for more helpful information.