The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that consistently wearing a mask, especially an N95 and KN95 respirator mask, while inside public places provide the best protection against COVID-19.
In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the health agency surveyed participants about what type of mask they wore.
Those who wore a cloth mask lowered their odds of testing positive by 56%.
The CDC added that wearing a surgical mask cut the odds of testing positive by 66%, while N95 and KN95 masks reduced the chances of infection by 83%.
For those who wear N95/KN95 masks followed by a surgical mask, their odds of infection were the lowest, the CDC said.
The research was conducted between Feb. 18 and Dec. 1, 2021, by the California Department of Public Health. It surveyed 652 people who tested positive for the coronavirus and matched them with 1,176 participants who tested negative.
Other information obtained by the researchers included if they had been in stores, restaurants, churches, schools, and other indoor public places in the 14 days before testing, if they'd worn a mask, and for how long.