By CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida

DENVER (CBS4) – Masks are now the new normal for people working to prevent spread of COVID-19 and a study from Duke University looks at 14 different types of masks. The researchers looked at N-95s, surgical, homemade masks, even neck gaiters and bandanas.

No surprise here, N-95 masks offer the most protection from viral particles and homemade masks did well. CBSN Denver talked with Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida about the takeaway.

“The good news is the masks you can buy or you can make on your, especially that poly-cotton blend, do a really great job of protecting you and protecting others,” he said.

But those neck gaiters? The study found they were worse than wearing no mask at all, saying the material actually broke down large droplets into smaller particles that can be more easily carried in the air.

You can find the complete study from Duke University here.

CBSN Denver also talked with Dr. Dave about the looming flu season and the concerns for hospitals having influenza and coronavirus patients at the same time. He said it is possible to have both at the same time and because the symptoms are similar, doctors will be testing for both flu and COVID-19 this fall.

Dr. Dave said the most important thing you can do to help keep the health care system from being overwhelmed is to get a flu shot.

“If there ever was a year to get one, this is the year to get a vaccine,” he said. “This is a year where you can be proactive and really increase your odds of having a healthier fall and winter season.”

Dr. Dave said only about 46% of Americans got a flu vaccination last year. He has his fingers crossed for a dramatic increase in that number this year.

We know new developments in the pandemic mean you have new questions. Dr. Dave joins us every Monday morning to answer those questions on CBSN Denver.

Dr. Dave Hnida

  1. Mary says:

    I’m curious: has Dr. Dave discussed this the various pro sports teams in the metro area? I’ve noticed a lot of the players are wearing those “neck gaiters” (at least during MLB games)? I’m also curious as to whether the study take into account the fabric used for those face coverings – because until this study came out, I was seriously considering finding one since the look more comfortable than the “standard” masks.

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