Learn about masks
Wearing face masks limits the spread of Covid-19. Sioxsie Wiles, writing in The Spinoff explains:
"Lots of people might be wondering why we're now being asked to wear face masks when we didn't use them the first time we were stamping out Covid-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand. Back in April I wrote about how even the experts could't agree whether masks should be worn by everyone. Some of that disagreement was based on different studies saying different things, and the worry that if everyone rushed out to buy face masks there wouldn't be enough for those that really needed them.
Now it's August, and things have moved on a lot in four months. We certainly understand more about how the virus is transmitted from person to person. Early on it was thought that coughs and sneezes were one of the main routes of transmission. Instead, it turns out that people are also infectious for a few days before they develop symptoms, and in that time they can spread the virus through breathing, talking, shouting and singing. That's where masks fit in."
A snippet from Mildred Armah's article on Stuff; Which face masks are available in NZ, and which are the most effective?
“Interestingly the mask that tested the lowest was a generic black fabric cotton mask with ear loops (3 layers), which is the most popular mask style in New Zealand.”
Dr Lucy Telfar Barnard, a senior research fellow in public health from the University of Otago, said it was important to make sure masks had good filtration.
“Any cloth mask without a decent filter layer is barely effective,” she said.
“If we can at all, we should be upgrading to better filtration, ideally a respirator (P2/N95/KN95/KN94), or if not, a surgical mask.”