Face masks have become an emblem in the fight against the coronavirus, with officials in the United States and elsewhere recommending — and in some cases requiring — that people wear them to help slow the spread of the deadly outbreak.
Figuring out what to wear is not so easy. N95 and medical masks, which offer the most protection and are heavily in demand, should be reserved for health care workers who are regularly exposed to infected patients.
A mask is effective only if worn properly, fitting snugly from the top of the nose to below the chin with no gaps. Masks should be worn the entire time you are outside, and should not be moved up and down. While no mask is 100 percent effective, it can help keep both you and others safe when combined with social distancing and regular hand washing.