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Masking Makes a Difference

Masking is the most important tool we have in preventing the spread of COVID-19. You should be wearing a mask anytime you are in public. Masks should be worn by everyone when in public, even children ages 2 and older.

OU Medicine is proud to have been the first hospital in Oklahoma City to institute universal masking. This means every individual is asked to wear a mask when on our campus.

How to Wear Mask

Wearing a mask is an important step in preventing transmission of COVID-19. The virus spreads primarily from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Wearing a mask protects everyone around you. When greater numbers of people wear masks, we are all protecting one another.

To make your own face masks, please visit this page to download a pattern.

Masking Myths

Myth: Wearing a cloth mask is not useful.
Reality: The mask acts as a barrier to keep droplets -- caused by talking, sneezing or coughing -- from becoming airborne and infecting someone who may breathe them in.

Myth: If I’m not sick, I don’t need to wear a mask.
Reality: Research continues to demonstrate that people with COVID-19 who do not have symptoms can still infect others. That means people who don’t know they are infected can unknowingly pass the virus on to others.

Myth: If I wear a mask, I don’t need to social distance or stay at home.
Reality: Masks are only one part of the prevention strategy. Social distancing at least two arms’ length away from others, along with frequent handwashing and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, are important for protecting yourself.

Myth: My mask just needs to cover my mouth.
Reality: Your mask should cover both your mouth and nose because both can expel droplets.

Myth: Masks decrease my oxygen intake.
Reality: Masks do not have the ability to decrease the amount of oxygen you take in. Thousands of surgeons, nurses and others wear masks for prolonged periods of time and are able to breathe and do their work safely.

Myth: Masks increase toxic inhalation.
Reality: Masks provide adequate airflow, which makes the build-up of carbon dioxide impossible. In addition, the fabric used to make masks is not toxic.

Myth: Masks will weaken my immune system.
Reality: There is no evidence that masks have any effect on the immune system or immune function. Viruses do not lie dormant in humans. By wearing a mask, you are not reactivating the virus.

Myth: The effectiveness of masks has not been studied.
Reality: There is ample peer-reviewed data about the value of wearing a mask.

Face masks are the first line of defense against COVID-19.

For additional information on the importance of masking, visit the CDC website.