Study Calls into Question Public Wearing N95 Masks

May 22, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified May 26, 2020

Medpage Today examines a study done in Singapore regarding the public properly wearing N95 masks. In this particular study, participants were given N95 respirators with an instruction sheet and then asked to put one on. Only 13% of participants passed the visual mask fit test.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends both surgical and N95 masks for healthcare professionals, but CDC guidance in the U.S. is against the public wearing face masks meant for healthcare workers. The authors of the Singapore study noted mask-wearing has become commonplace in the advent of COVID-19, but “N95 mask use by the general public may not translate into effective protection but instead provide false reassurance.”

Overall, data collected from the study included 714 men and women, or 32% of 2,331 households that met the inclusion criteria. About half the sample were women and all adult ages were represented.

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