SYRACUSE, N.Y. (ABC/WSYR-TV) — With a surge of COVID-19 cases across the country and right here in Central New York, health experts are urging proper mask use as the temperatures drop, saying it will be critical.
“You cannot simply just use a scarf to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” says Dr. James Kravec, Chief Medical Officer of Mercy Health Youngstown.
Using winter weather gear like scarves and sweaters as an alternative to face masks will not keep you safe.
According to a Duke University test of fourteen commonly used face coverings, the thin single-layer neck gaiter, a popular sporty and winter accessory, actually created more tiny droplets than speaking without a mask.
Duke University Associate Research Professor, Dr. Martin Fischer, said these masks break down big droplets into little ones that are easier to be carried away by air and spread to others.
Another tip from health experts during the winter months — keeping your mask dry.
When the paper surgical masks or cloth masks get wet, they are no longer effective. Therefore, you need to throw away your paper surgical mask if it gets wet or wash your cloth masks right away.
And before you head out the door, make sure you put your mask on first and keep it nice and snug before you put on your gloves, hat and scarf.
If you wear eyeglasses, choose a mask that has a metal nose strip in it to keep the mask tight to your face and prevent your glasses from fogging up.