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Researchers say evidence shows masks beneficial to wearer and those around them

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    PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — Starting Wednesday, masks will be required outdoors in Oregon when social distancing can’t be maintained, and now health professionals are reiterating the importance of masks.

Researchers are saying evidence shows that just wearing a mask will be beneficial to both the wearer and the people around them.

For months, we have been told that masks are necessary to protect our loved ones and our community. But health officials say it could also be helpful in protecting you.

According to epidemiologists at the University of California San Francisco, masks can help you from being exposed to larger droplets from someone who may be infected.

Dawn Nolt, a professor from Dornbecher Children’s Hospital, says this makes sense and anything covering your nose and mouth will act as a barrier with benefits to the person wearing it.

“If you have a larger dose of a bacteria or a virus, your response is going to be amplified based on if you have a high dose or a low dose, so if a mask can reduce your dose, hopefully you have a less chance of having a very severe reaction,” Nolt said.

She also notes that it’s important that people wear their masks correctly, covering both their nose and mouth.

Experts say masks are still the most effective at stopping the wearer from spreading the virus.

Health officials also say you should be continuing to follow other guidelines like social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, new guidelines from Gov. Kate Brown go into effect, requiring people to wear face coverings even while outside when they can’t maintain social distancing.

Researchers with UC San Francisco also say that the type of mask doesn’t matter much, as long as it covers your nose and mouth. However, they do say that N95 masks with valves shouldn’t be worn because they don’t protect those around you.

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