What is a mask adjuster? How to get the device listed in CDC guidelines

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Wearing a mask adjuster could make face coverings up to 90% more effective at preventing the spread of COVID, according to research highlighted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Wednesday, the CDC released the results of experiments suggesting that double masking – wearing a fabric mask over a medical mask – or tying the earrings on medical masks and tying up excess material can “significantly” limit transmission of COVID. If two people are both double-face masks or tie-and-fold masks, exposure to the virus is reduced by 96.4%, according to the agency.

The CDC report also drew attention to two recent studies which indicate that mask fitters can boost protection by at least 90% against particles of the size considered most important for the spread of COVID. One study was a pre-print submitted to the medRxiv website on January 4, meaning it has yet to be peer-reviewed, while the other was published in JAMA Internal Medicine at the end of last year.

On its Improving The Way Your Mask Protects You webpage, the CDC advises people to make sure their coverings are snug on the face and have layers, as this prevents respiratory droplets carrying viruses from entering and exiting. .

The CDC now lists mask fitters or orthodontic appliances as one of the ways to improve fit. Other options include choosing a mask with a nasal thread or wearing a disposable mask under a fabric mask. He advises against superimposing two disposable masks because they will not adapt sufficiently to the face.

The guidelines come as variants of COVID spread across the United States, particularly a more infectious one first identified in the United Kingdom, Florida and California, have become hot spots for the variants.

What is a mask maker?

Also known as a mask or splint seal, the frame-like device snaps over the ears and fits over the top of face covers to improve the fit. They work by preventing air from entering through open edges. Mask fitters can be used on both cloth and disposable masks.

How to make a mask fitter at home

The Makerspace Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has released details on how to make their Badger Seal mask, which was found to be effective in the medRxiv study.

According to its creators, the Badger Seal costs less than $ 1 and takes five minutes to make. The video below explains how to make the mask more snug.

The Badger Seal is designed for use with a three-layer disposable mask, a four-layer knitted cotton fabric mask, or a type of medical mask known as ASTM Level II. It is important to make sure that the mask material is breathable as it will fit more tightly than normal.

Makerspace states: “Disclaimer: Although our installer appears to improve the seal of a face mask, its effectiveness has not been tested to prevent disease and you should use it at your own risk. “

The Badger Seal can also be purchased from manufacturers not affiliated with the university, listed on the Makerspace website.

For those with 3D printers, the National Institutes of Health have shared details on how to print a custom mask adjuster created by Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in California and the Bellus3D facial scanning app.

The NIH states on its website: “This design has been tested in a clinical setting and has been found to be appropriate when manufactured with the type of printer and materials specified.”

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A stock image of handmade fabric masks. The CDC released a report on how to make masks more effective at preventing the spread of COVID.
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