Debunking common mask myths
Not sure what to believe when it comes to wearing a mask? We're debunking common masking myths.
Does wearing a mask all day cause a buildup of carbon dioxide?
No. Just as oxygen flows through a mask, carbon dioxide flows out.
Are masks only necessary for people with COVID-19 symptoms?
No. We all need to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Coughing and sneezing create high-risk situations, but talking, yelling, exercising and singing can also spread infected respiratory droplets. Even exhaling air can potentially spread COVID-19. Because of all this, at Gundersen we require universal masking within our walls and encourage masking outside of the organization, per recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments.
Masks help prevent infection in several ways by:
- Reducing the spread of COVID-19 to others if you have COVID-19 but do not have any symptoms
- Limiting the spread of COVID-19 to others if you cough or sneeze
- Preventing infection by serving as a barrier for respiratory droplets from others nearby
- Limiting hand to mouth and nose contact
Can masks cause self-contamination?
Yes and no. Respiratory droplets can contaminate the outside surface of a mask, which is why it's important to handle your mask correctly. When re-using a mask, consider the outside contaminated and avoid touching it. You also can protect yourself by:
- Using hand sanitizer or soap and water before and after taking off your mask
- Washing cloth masks daily
It's also important to remember that wearing a mask after you have been exposed to COVID-19 does not worsen your illness if you develop an infection.
If you continue to have questions about masking, please seek information from reputable, science-based sources like the >CDC or Gundersen.