Good hygiene, social distancing and face masks. By now, we know that those are key components when it comes to protecting ourselves and one another from COVID-19. But all masks are not created equal.
Researchers at Florida Atlantic University did a study to see which works best to protect people around you.
Different fabrics, construction and fit - they put a wide variety of face coverings to the test, such as a bandanna, a loosely folded cotton handkerchief, the popular homemade double-layer cotton covering, and an over-the-counter cone style.
In the lab, the single-layer bandanna performed the worst, with respiratory droplets still traveling more than 3.5 feet. They also lingered in the air.
The best option was the homemade two-layer mask made of quilting cotton, a more densely woven fabric. Droplets traveled up and down from the inside, but only 2.5 inches forward.
But ABC Medical Editor Dr. Jen Ashton says take this study with a grain a salt as the simulation is in a lab. In the real world, wind, humidity and other factors can play role.
"To be clear we are at a stage when anything is better than nothing," said Ashton.
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