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BBC reviews how masks are essential for health care workers, but that masks used in public places are also important. Masks along with other forms of personal protective equipment can help limit exposure to the virus.
A study (not yet peer-reviewed) from Northeastern University has found that adding a layer of nylon material beneath a fabric mask can help create a stronger seal to block smaller particles from escaping the mask.
This article examines how there are not many studies on the effectiveness of fabric masks, but the extra protection in combination with handwashing and social distancing can help decrease the amount of respiratory droplets that are spread.
"This document provides advice on the use of masks in communities, during home care, and in health care settings in areas that have reported cases of COVID-19. It is intended for individuals in the community, public health and infection prevention and control (IPC) professionals, health care managers, health care workers (HCWs), and community health workers. This updated version includes a section on Advice to decision makers on the use of masks for healthy people in community settings."