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Study: neck gaiters offer little to no protection from water droplets escaping your mouth and nose

Washington head coach Ron Rivera arrives for practice wearing a face mask, at the team's NFL...
Washington head coach Ron Rivera arrives for practice wearing a face mask, at the team's NFL football training facility, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)(AP Photo/Alex Brandon | AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 10:05 AM CDT
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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - A new study from Duke University reveals that different faces masks have different levels of effectiveness.

“Generally, we like to have a mask with at least two layers of material on it,” said Brenda Klahn, infection control expert with SSM Health in Janesville. Klahn says the material should cover your mouth and nose and ideally, go underneath your chin.

“When anyone talks, sneezes, coughs, or sings -- you project droplets in the air. When those droplets go out into the air and if you’re sick with the flu or COVID-19, those viruses attach to the droplets and hang out in the air and that’s how we spread disease to other people,” said Klahn.

“The idea behind wearing a mask is that those droplets are contained within that mask and they are not going out into the air for others to breathe,” she added.

The study claims that neck gaiters –while comfortable and easy to breathe through – offer little to no protection at all. Neck gaiters are thin, stretchy material that are often easy to see through.

N95, surgical, and cloth masks provide the best protection.

Klahn hopes everyone follows the mask mandate in place in order to slow the spread of the virus.

“It’s very frustrating that it has become a political issue,” said Klahn. “This is a public health issue, a public health crisis. This has nothing to do with democrats or republicans, it’s a public health crisis,”

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