These are the best and worst fabrics and filters for face masks

Q: I have accumulated several face masks during the mandate. Which fabrics are best for filtering particles in the air?

A: Researchers agree that the best facial covering is the one a person will wear. Equally important is the fit of the covering.

In some circumstances, the employer determines which masks/facial coverings are allowed, depending on the likelihood of coming in close proximity to someone with COVID-19. Health-care workers, hospital staff, dentists, dental assistants, teachers, firefighter and police officers, for example, may be required to wear the N95 masks, which filter 95% of particles that are 0.3 microns in size or larger. (For comparison, the diameter of a human hair is about 70 microns.) Remember, though, that N95 masks with valves do not protect those around you, because the wearer’s exhaled breath is unfiltered and allows droplets to escape.

During the early phase of the pandemic, the N95 and surgical

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Over 30 million people told Facebook if they had Covid or wore masks

Dr. Farzad Mostashari presenting on syndromic surveillance.

Farzad Mostashari

When Carnegie Mellon researchers had the idea to put together a survey asking the general public about their coronavirus symptoms, the scientists knew they needed to collect millions of data points to learn anything meaningful.

So they asked Facebook, which has a public team that specializes in using analytics for humanitarian causes called “Data for Good,” for its help. 

The survey, which went live to Facebook’s billions of users about six months ago, has so far collected data from more than 30 million people around the world. The survey asks whether they tested positive for the virus, if they wear masks and practice socially distancing as well as if they’re currently experiencing symptoms. Respondents also share data about their demographics, like their age, as well as their mental health status and preexisting medical conditions.

More than 1.5 million people fill out

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