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Evaluating Pandemic Protections: CDC To Start Rating Effectiveness Of Face Coverings

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- Nine months into the pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it will begin labeling masks that are most effective, and the plan has already gotten the stamp of approval from Southern California health experts.

Some masks provide more protection than others, and now Americans will have better insight on which ones are the best choices for their health and safety during the pandemic.

"When people wear masks that are made of cloth and don't have any kind of a rated insert... not really doing anybody any good," said Epidemiologist Dr. Andrew Noymer. "This is a great idea. Right now NIOSH (the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) basically has the N95 rating, which is the best kind of mask, and everything else is just a mask."

The CDC is looking at creating two labels, one for masks that filter 50% of droplets and one for masks that filter 80% of droplets.

"We know that this virus is in very small water droplets that are leaving our breath and our sneezes," Noymer said. "If everyone is wearing a two-layer mask, that means that the particle has to go through four layers of fabric to get from spreader to receiver."

Some people have also spoken out against the federal government rating masks, calling it an overreach in enforcement.

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