Since Governor Cuomo's state mandate of wearing a face covering out in public where social distancing is not possible, I've been seeing all kinds of masks. For quite a while, it was very difficult to buy face masks since they were in short supply resulting in people coming up with homemade coverings. Even at this point, with masks now available to purchase in stores and online, you will still see quite a variety of personal choices when it comes to covering up mouths and noses.

Would you like to know how effective different coverings are in reducing the spread of COVID-19 when you talk? Here's your chance.

Researchers from Duke University set out to evaluate the efficacy of 14 different masks to reduce the transmission of respiratory droplets during regular speech. Here's what they found...

surgical mask Credit: Jointown, Amazon.com

The best performers were the N95 and surgical mask. After that, polypropylene masks were fairly effective and following that type, layered homemade cotton masks did well.  Face coverings that didn't get good marks were bandanas and knitted masks, both not offering much in the way of protection. At the bottom of the list a type of face covering that actually not only wasn't effective in keeping droplets from spreading but actually increased the number of droplets being spread around and that was fleece neck gators. The fleece actually broke down large droplets into much smaller ones that dispersed out of the mask into the air. If you have been wearing one of those to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, ditch it for a more protective mask.

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To learn more about the study and the results click here.