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Home / Frequently Asked Questions / Do masks with an exhalation valve protect the same as masks without one?

Do masks with an exhalation valve protect the same as masks without one?

No, masks with exhalation valves are not as effective at reducing community spread as those without exhalation valves. Masks with exhalation valves should not be used for COVID-19.

Masks with exhalation valves provide some level of protection to the wearer, but they do not protect others. Masks with exhalation valves do not contribute to the reduction of the concentration of potentially infectious particles being expelled into the environment.

Check our PPE guidance for more advice from WVU health experts.

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