As the number of novel coronavirus cases continues to rise nationwide, the recurring message from many public health experts and doctors has been simple: Wearing masks saves lives.
But as face coverings have become increasingly commonplace in American life, so have questions about efficacy. Do neck gaiters work?
There is nothing wrong with neck gaiters being used as face coverings. The problem is the material of which they are made.
In a new study from Duke University in North Carolina, researchers concluded that fleece neck gaiters made from a polyester and spandex blend aren’t effective in blocking coronavirus droplets.
The study finds some cotton cloth masks are about as effective as surgical masks, while thin polyester spandex gaiters may be worse than going maskless.
Neck gaiters that are triple layered and made out of cotton are the most effective.
It is recommended that the gaiter be made out of a material that does not have a large enough space between the fibers to allow virus particles to easily pass through. If you hold the gaiter up to the sun and see daylight, then it is likely that the mask will not perform well in preventing viral spread.