UAB mask test proves it must be worn properly

UAB mask test proves it must be worn properly
Experiment on wearing masks properly (Source: WBRC)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama health leaders continue to be encouraged to see positive cases of COVID come down statewide. Most doctors attribute the decline to the mandatory face mask order. But, are people wearing those masks properly?

Most health leaders say yes - you expect to see more chances of spreading the coronavirus if people don’t wear the mask the way you are supposed to while out in public.

A new local experiment showed that momentary lapse could put yourself or family members at risk.

Dr. Yeon Cho, an associate professor of ENT at UAB, wanted to know what would happen if people did not cover their nose with a face covering. Cho’s experiment revealed you can see a spread of droplets without any covering.

“When you are actually covering your mouth and nose at the same time, there was no growth in your plate,” Dr. Cho said.

Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Health Department said wearing a mask correctly is important to stopping the spread of the infectious disease.

“Let’s say it’s in the winter. You can see your breath in very cold air. What you are seeing is the liquid that you normally breathe out,” Willeford said.

Willeford said it’s up to people to do what they can to wear a mask correctly to protect themselves.

“Things you don’t want to do. You don’t want to see it worn down here. Someone putting it above their head. Let it dangle off the ear,” Willeford said.

Dr. Cho also said remember to change out those masks regularly.

“Whenever you sneeze or coughing more, you have to change your mask more frequently because based on this finding, the mask is really dirty,” Cho said.

Dr. Willeford said when he is out, he sees most people wearing a mask correctly. This is just a reminder any mistake could put you or family at risk and stop any chance of staying free of the disease. Most medical people believe a mask can stop about 90% of the disease.

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