When it comes to non-medical face coverings, some are better than others, expert says

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Non-medical masks and coverings are a must-have in indoor public spaces in Nova Scotia to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but some are better than others.A study from Duke University found that handmade cotton face coverings provide good coverage by “removing a substantial amount of the spray from normal speech.”

But bandanas and balaclavas / neck warmers didn’t block droplets as effectively, according to the study.

“Wearing a mask is not a substitute for staying a reasonable distance, six feet away, and washing your hands,” said Dr. Lisa Barrett, infectious disease specialist at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Mercredi, CBC Nova Scotia News at Six.

« So if you forget about these two, no mask will be good. ”

Barrett said homemade masks are never intended to be worn in a health care setting. She said they are supposed to be worn as a secondary way to prevent transmission of COVID-19 in the community or somewhere inside.

Dr. Lisa Barrett is an infectious disease specialist at Dalhousie University in Halifax. (CBC)

The way the mask is worn is also important, she said.

“Wearing a mask when it’s not covering your nose, mouth and chin – whatever the material – if it’s not in the right place, it won’t protect,” Barrett said.

A test recommended by Barrett is to put on the mask, then place one hand in front of the mask and start to breathe. If you don’t feel the breath, this is an indication of a good mask.

Barrett said it’s also important that people don’t take off their masks to have face-to-face conversations with others.

Nova Scotia reported its 10th consecutive day without a new case of COVID-19 on Wednesday. But, as experts brace for a second wave of the disease later this year, Barrett said masks will play an important role.

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone wears a neck warmer as a mask during practice at baseball summer training camp at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 in New York City. A study from Duke University recently found that face coverings like this aren’t the best for blocking droplets. (Kathy Willens / The Associated Press)

She said it was encouraging to see so many people wearing masks. She said more work needs to be done on how to wear them properly.

“I think masks are going to be an important part of the new normal,” she said.

Watch Amy Smith’s full interview with Dr. Lisa Barrett. 6:57

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