Though as a country we’re in far better shape in regard to COVID-19 than we’ve been in a very long time, risk of infection remains a serious concern in healthcare practices. While masking has been accepted as an essential component in lowering risk, research just published by JAMA Network Open reveals there’s a marked difference in risk for infection among healthcare workers who wear one type of mask vs another. According to an observational study reflecting the experience of 2,919 healthcare workers, wearing a respirator mask resulted in lower risk for infection compared with surgical masks (21% vs 35%, respectively). Another data set confirmed that greater exposure to COVID-19 patients increased risk for infection among the providers treating them; those with >2 to 4 hours of exposure had a 25% chance of testing positive for the virus. Being in their presence for >8 to 16 hours resulted in 32.9% risk, while exposure for more than 64 hours increased risk to 42.7%.

Masks Are a Must in Protecting Your Team Against COVID—but Not Just Any Mask Will Do