A new study about the effectiveness of different types of mask might have you questioning the type you're wearing regularly. One mask is actually worse than wearing nothing. (SPOILER ALERT: You've probably seen this kind all over Utica.)

Researchers at Duke University tested 14 different kinds of masks to determine which were most effective at preventing "respiratory droplets" from spreading during speech. These droplets could contain the virus in people infected with COVID-19.

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Using a beam of light, the researchers were able to test how effective each mask is. Unsurprisingly, N95 and surgical masks are the most effective. Polypropylene masks were nearly as effective as the top 2. Homemade cotton masks made with layers also fared well. Folded bandanas and knitted masks also performed poorly and did not offer much protection.

All were more effective than nothing - except for one.

Neck fleeces, otherwise known as neck gaiters (which I wear regularly when running) were actually worse than nothing. 

"In fact, wearing a fleece mask resulted in a higher number of respiratory droplets because the material seemed to break down larger droplets into smaller particles that are more easily carried away with air," according to CNN.

If you can get your hands on a surgical mask - a mask with multiple layers is your best bet for helping to slow the spread of coronavirus.


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