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How does "one-way" masking help? Oregon health official weighs in

N95 masks are used both as dust masks and as medical equipment.
Well-fitted masks with two or more cloth layers or a material with static qualities offers the most protection to the wearer.

As Oregonian’s consider the pros and cons of lifting the indoor mask mandate on or before March 31, one question for health officials is: “Does one-way masking really work?”

State Health Officer with the Oregon Health Authority, Dr. Dean Sidelinger, says yes.

“One-way masking offers protection to the individual. One-way masking offers protection to those around you,” he said. “At a time when disease is spreading at a fairly high level, two-way masking offers even more protection.”

For anyone confused about the term— "one-way" masking is when you don a face covering while others around you may not.

Dr. Sidelinger reminded that a well fitted, quality mask —with two or more cloth layers or a material with static qualities— offers the most protection to the wearer.

Once the state mask mandate is lifted, health officials advise considering individual and household health factors before dropping your mask indoors.

Rachael McDonald
Health officials say consider your health risks before dropping your mask.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.