Not all masks are created equal - FOX34 Lubbock

Not all masks are created equal

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

There's plenty of options out there to choose from, when it comes to picking out a facial covering to your liking. But not all are created equal.

Lubbock Public Health Authority Doctor Ron Cook says cloth masks are the best option for non-medical professionals. But there is a widely available version of the fabric mask that he doesn't recommend.

"It has an exhaust valve. So you actually blow out through a little rubber seal, it blows out it doesn't filter anything it just blows your hot air out. But it seals up as you draw air back in through it," Dr. Cook explained.

This makes it so the masks with a valve feature may offer added protection to the wearer.  But Dr. Cook believes masks should be able to protect others as well. 

"If you're infected, they're not appropriate. It may protect you from getting it, but if you're infected, you're still spreading the virus," he said.

Meanwhile, face shields have become popular. Although the CDC does not recommend face shields as an alternative to masks, experts say they can add an extra layer of protection.

"That's probably the second-best thing to do, you know, ultimately a face shield, a clear plastic face shield and a facial covering is the best," Dr. Cook said.

The face shields are also re-usable and can cover a vulnerable portion of the face that masks do not. 

"It also protects the eyes too, because you can actually get infected through the eyes, by having the virus particles land in your eyes," he explained.

In order to make sure masks are doing their job, wearers should avoid touching the mask and have it snug but comfortable on the face, as well as making sure to cover both the nose and mouth.

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