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Man wearing face mask with a valve during doctor's visit

Face Masks with Valves Not Effective Against Spread of COVID-19

Author: CHKD Medical Group, Dr. Victor Mickunas
Published Date: Thursday, July 23, 2020

By Dr. Victor Mickunas, Pediatric Associates

To protect our patients, their families, and our staff from COVID-19, we’re asking people not to use face masks with small plastic valves in the front panel.

These are known as one-way valves, and while they filter air breathed in, the air going out is unfiltered, so you risk spreading the coronavirus to others through infected droplets. COVID-19 can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms and do not know they are infected.

CHKD facilities require children 2 and older and their caregivers to wear a mask or cloth face covering, unless a health condition makes wearing one dangerous. Face masks with valves, however, are not acceptable at our facilities, and those wearing them will be asked to use a more effective substitute.

The industrial masks with front valves were designed for projects like sanding, sweeping dust, and working on projects that dispense small particles into the air. These masks with valves can give people you come in contact with a false sense of security.  

Here are some other face mask tips to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19:

  • Cloth face coverings and face masks should not be placed on children ages 2 and younger, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering.
  • Make sure your mask covers your nose and mouth.
  • Your mask should fit snugly against the sides of your face and be secure under your chin.
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing your face covering, and wash hands immediately after removing.
  • Masks are not a substitute for frequent handwashing and physical distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.