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VERIFY: No, surgical and fabric masks are not pointless

Several claims are circulating social media, claiming that wearing face masks is pointless.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Claims debating the effectiveness of wearing face masks in public are circulating social media. Several are claiming surgical masks and fabric masks are pointless.

KREM 2's verify team looked into the overarching claim and found that it is false, according to information from the Center for Disease Control.

While some of the technical information in these posts may be true, the facts are being used in a way to portray a ending argument that is false.

Hospitals are using N-95 masks, as well as face shields, to keep their staff safe from coronavirus particulates in the air.

The CDC says those N-95 masks can effectively stop 95% of all small and big particles from entering the person wearing it. They are specially fitted to each individuals face, and a face shield stops any respiratory emissions from reaching a person's eyes.

A main claim in several of the viral posts say that regular surgical masks do not work to prevent a person from contracting COVID-19.

While the CDC says that is true, surgical masks do not stop small particles, that is not the point of wearing them.

According to an info-graphic from the CDC's website, a surgical mask can protect surrounding people from the respiratory emissions of the person who wears it.

So even if the mask doesn't actually protect the person wearing it from coronavirus, it does help keep that person's droplets from their mouth and nose out of the air. Since that's how COVID-19 can spread, it is ultimately helping reduce the spread.

A person is not wearing a mask for themselves, they are wearing a mask for the people around them. Even when a person isn't feeling symptoms it is important to wear one, because experts say that a person can have COVID-19 without any symptoms.

In the end, while some small facts in these viral posts may be true, the overall premise that says masks are not helping, is false.

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