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K-State Today

September 28, 2020

Why face coverings work

Submitted by Division of Communications and Marketing

As the flu season approaches and COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to rise in the U.S., health officials are reminding Americans that face coverings are critical to slowing the spread and contraction of both respiratory diseases.

K-State's policy on face coverings
Everyone — faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors and visitors — must wear face coverings over their mouths and noses in all indoor and outdoor spaces while you are on university property unless you are alone in your own private office or workspace or are alone outdoors.

Read more about face coverings at K-State.

Why face coverings work
In short: Your mask protects me and my mask protects you.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID-19 virus can be spread through respiratory droplets that are released when infected people talk, sneeze and cough. Studies show that these droplets travel many feet away from the person who creates them. If people nearby inhale the respiratory droplets from an individual infected with COVID-19, they can become sick.

Face coverings create a physical barrier around the wearer's mouth and nose to catch these respiratory droplets that would otherwise travel into the surrounding air. The mouth and nose are direct pathways to and from the respiratory system.

A face covering that is made from two or more layers of fabric creates a thicker barrier of cloth fibers that can block more of these droplets from being released into the nearby air and being inhaled by people nearby.

Wearing a face covering, combined with maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing, washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and not touching your face, offers the best methods of reducing the likelihood of spreading or contracting COVID-19.

Find more CDC tips to reduce risk and stop the spread of COVID-19 and learn more about health and wellness at K-State.

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