NewsChannel 9’s Carrie Lazarus has more on getting, making your own face mask

Family Healthcast

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Do you have any face masks? Starting on Friday at 8 p.m., they will be required for anyone over the age of two in New York State to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

You will most likely see them being worn in grocery stores and even outdoors where it is hard to keep six feet away from other people.

Here is a look at some of the types of masks you might encounter, and what to consider when making your own:

N95 mask

The N95 is the most recognizable and effective mask. Its name means it can block at least 95 percent of tiny particles.

These masks are reserved for healthcare workers who are exposed to infected patients.

Medical mask

Medical masks are often made out of layers of breathable, paper-like synthetic fabric. They are less effective than N95 masks, but can catch droplets when you cough or sneeze.

With medical masks in short supply, many people are making masks, which can be as good as a simple medical mask.

Some masks are made of cotton, which is dense enough to capture viral particles, but breathable enough that you can tolerate it.

You can also use materials like a heavy cotton t-shirt, flannel or a tightly woven dish towel. Material with a higher thread count, which allows very little light to filter through, will likely offer the best protection.

Some people have added filters to their masks, sewing a pocket for coffee filters and even paper towels can help the mask block out more particles.

But air and vacuum filters are not recommended as they can contain harmful fibers you could inhale.

Whatever mask you use, make sure it fits snugly over your nose and mouth, wash your hands after taking it off and wash the mask after using it.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay home.

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