Masks

Medical Workers Should Use Respirator Masks, Not Surgical Masks

A new analysis of 172 studies, funded by the World Health Organization, confirms what scientists have said for months: N95 and other respirator masks are far superior to surgical or cloth masks in protecting essential medical workers against the coronavirus.

The results, published on Monday in The Lancet, make it clear that the W.H.O. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should recommend that essential workers like nurses and emergency responders wear N95 masks, not just surgical masks, experts said.

“It’s been disappointing that both the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. have suggested that surgical masks are adequate, and they’re clearly not,” said David Michaels, a professor at George Washington University who headed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under President Obama.

“Reliance on surgical masks has no doubt led to many workers being infected,” he said.

N95 masks offered 96 percent protection, the analysis found, while the figure for

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Do Runners Need to Wear Masks?

Jane Rosen began yelling sometime in April. By May, it had become routine. The incidents usually occur near her minivan, which she parks alongside Central Park in New York City.

As she attempts to enter or exit the vehicle, a cyclist or a runner will whiz by, so close she can practically smell them. “I scream, ‘Where is your mask?’” said Ms. Rosen, 73.

Her daughter warned her that these confrontations could end badly. But it feels worth it, she said, because lives are at stake. She’s had about 18 such confrontations. The figure would be higher, she said, if she ventured out more often.

Melissa Mayen, a high school senior in Washington, D.C., had also been avoiding going outside. Then in mid-May, she set out for a ride for the first time in nearly a month.

She was startled when a man, walking across the street, yelled something about

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They Evoke Darth Vader, but These Masks May Save Your Doctor’s Life

Even among the surreal sights of an intensive care unit crowded with Covid-19 patients, Dr. Elaine Fajardo’s mask stands out.

Jet-black silicone with magenta-capped filters protruding from both sides, it is more commonly the protection of choice at construction sites and industrial plants. But for Dr. Fajardo, it has been a precious and potentially lifesaving medical resource.

“I think these really saved us from a crisis,” said Dr. Fajardo, a pulmonary and critical care physician at the Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut.

In the past, Dr. Fajardo, like most health care workers, relied on disposable N95 masks, which are in critically short supply globally because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now she is the beneficiary of a prescient decision: As the virus raged in China, Yale hospital administrators bought about 1,200 of the reusable silicone masks, known as elastomeric respirators, and gave them to doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists starting

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You’re Getting Used to Masks. Will You Wear a Face Shield?

The debate over whether Americans should wear face masks to control coronavirus transmission has been settled. Governments and businesses now require or at least recommend them in many public settings. But as parts of the country reopen, some doctors want you to consider another layer of personal protective equipment in your daily life: clear plastic face shields.

“I wear a face shield every time I enter a store or other building,” said Dr. Eli Perencevich. “Sometimes I also wear a cloth mask if required by the store’s policy.”

Dr. Perencevich is an infectious disease physician at the University of Iowa and the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System. In an opinion article published last month in JAMA, he and two colleagues argued that simple, clear plastic face shields could help reduce the transmission of infections when added to public health measures like increased testing, contact tracing, social distancing

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