No mask is 100% effective. An N95, for example, is named as such because it is at least 95% efficient at blocking airborne particles when used properly. But even if a mask has an 80% efficiency, Marr said, it still offers meaningful protection.
Marr said her team aerosolized the coronavirus, pulled it through a mask, and then examined how much virus survived on the mask. The study reported some viral particle remained on some cloth masks, but no virus survived on the N95s or surgical masks.
Marr’s team also touched artificial skin to masks and looked at how many virus particles transferred to the artificial skin. No infectious virus transferred.
“I hope the study kind of shows that it’s something we don’t need to worry about as much as we were told,” Marr said.