Does your face mask need a filter? We asked medical experts what to look for

We’re all getting used to wearing face coverings while out and about, and you may have noticed that several masks have a small slot to place a filter for extra protection.

Adding a filter in between the layers of your face mask can help block airborne particles that might sneak through the fabric, and can offer some much need reassurance during these uncertain times.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune on face mask filters, as there are several budget-friendly options available online. To help you get started, Shop TODAY consulted a few health experts to learn what filter materials are most effective, how often you should swap them out and where you can buy them online.

Why you should use a filter in your face mask

When used in conjunction with social distancing practices, cloth face masks can help slow the spread of coronavirus. However, not all masks

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When coronavirus threatened to close this food court restaurant, neighbors rallied to save it

DES MOINES, Iowa – From her padded stool perch in the corner of her restaurant, Vietnam Cafe, owner Brenda Tran reigns over the food court – part mama bear, part perpetual party host.

On a typical day, Tran watches new customers settle into tables and chow down, sometimes running into the dining room to hold impromptu lessons on the finer points of Vietnamese cuisine. Swirl your pho noodles like spaghetti! Lean down and slurp the broth!

She chats with her “mall walkers” as they nosh on her special Vietnamese egg sandwiches. After losing her father a decade ago, she considers them her “American parents,” an honor they take to heart.

She beckons over “the kids,” teens either suspended or cutting class from the local high school. She tells them her story, how she survived the Vietnam War and came to Iowa as a refugee, not knowing a lick of English

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Wyckoff’s Christian Healthcare Center Allows Visits: What To Know

WYCKOFF, NJ — Christian Health Care Center, a long-term care facility hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, will be accepting visitors moving forward as the state continues to make progress in containing COVID-19.

Outdoor visitation began on June 21, and the facility said visitation is allowed on a limited, pre-scheduled basis with strict regulations.

Those regulations aren’t available online, but a phone call to the family information line results in a recorded message that lays out the protocol and rules.

They are as follows:

  • Visits must be pre-scheduled, and are capped at 20 minutes

  • COVID-19 positive residents, residents in isolation from coronavirus, or those with possible COVID-19 symptoms can not have visitors

  • Visits must occur outside at designated locations

  • A maximum of two visitors per patient is allowed, and they will be screened prior to visitation

  • Visitors cannot enter the facilities during, before or after their visit

  • Social distancing of

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PM Johnson’s father flies to Greece despite ban

LONDON — The father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing criticism for travelling to Greece despite U.K. government advice against international travel and a Greek ban on flights from Britain.

Stanley Johnson posted videos on Instagram taken from a plane with the words “Arriving in Athens this evening!” as well as a photo of himself in a mask in what appeared to be an airport. The elder Johnson, 79, has a villa in Greece.

Greece has banned flights from the U.K. until at least July 15. The Daily Mail reported that Stanley Johnson flew to Athens via Bulgaria. He told the newspaper he was visiting Greece on “essential business trying to COVID-proof my property.”

Opposition politicians accused the prime minister’s father of flouting lockdown rules.



— A predicted surge in U.S. job growth for June might not

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If you really love Cornwall you’ll stay away this summer

Cornwall's unsullied coastline and the cute little towns are likely to tempt Britons looking for post-lockdown escapism - BEN IVORY
Cornwall’s unsullied coastline and the cute little towns are likely to tempt Britons looking for post-lockdown escapism – BEN IVORY

A couple of weeks into lockdown, some strangers entered a corner shop in one of Cornwall’s most visited towns. “Oh how wonderful!” they cooed. “You have everything! We’ve come down from London where the shelves are bare!” The owner told them that his stocks were for locals, and that they should “**** off”. Second-home owners have been banned from his premises ever since.

Forget King Arthur: the ballad of the Spar shop, as we call it, has quickly transmuted into local legend down here in Cornwall, where there’s nary a smile between us as we brace for an onslaught of visitors on Saturday, once overnight restrictions are lifted. Local Facebook groups are ablaze with frightened talk of cottages booked solid until September.

One friend, who has a shop in a

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‘It Feels Like a Warzone’

Photo credit: TKTKTK
Photo credit: TKTKTK


In April, as New York City emerged as the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. military deployed 720 troops to work in the city’s overburdened medical centers. One such service member is 36-year-old Rosa Blackdeer, a registered nurse and First Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserves, who left her family behind in Wisconsin to serve at Lincoln Medical Center, a public hospital in the Bronx that is home to the busiest emergency department in NYC. Here is her story, told in her own words:

New York City was supposed to be the destination of our family summer vacation this year. I arrived on April 5. My unit is staying at a hotel in Times Square. I’ve never been here before, but from watching movies and TV shows, I know what it’s supposed to look like, and it is crazy to see everything empty. It’s

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France asks companies to keep masks for staff

PARIS — The French government is asking all companies to keep at least 10 weeks worth of masks for their employees in case of a second wave of virus infections.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said Thursday on RTL radio, “It’s fundamental to respect this guidance. We saw it – our country was not sufficiently stocked with masks” during the first wave.

Shortages of all kinds of masks were a major problem in France when the virus raced across the country in March and April, and are central to several lawsuits launched against authorities.

The government is encouraging companies to buy from French textile manufacturers who have a glut of masks after they switched to making them at government request earlier in the pandemic.

“There is a risk of new circulation of the virus,” secretary of state for the economy Agnes Pannier-Runacher told a parliamentary commission. “We are asking companies to

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American, United Airlines to Lift Limits on Seating Capacity as Southwest and Delta Extend Policy

American Airlines and United Airlines plan to lift limitations on seating capacity on their flights this month, according to new reports.

A representative for American confirms with PEOPLE that the airline plans to allow full capacity on its flight starting July 1, after having it capped at 85 percent since April.

“We are unwavering in our commitment to the safety and well-being of our customers and team members,” the spokesperson says. “We have multiple layers of protection in place for those who fly with us, including required face coverings, enhanced cleaning procedures, and a pre-flight COVID-19 symptom checklist — and we’re providing additional flexibility for customers to change their travel plans, as well. We know our customers are placing their trust in us to make every aspect of their journey safe, and we are committed to doing just that.”

The carrier will also continue to notify customers and allow them

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Couple Married for 53 Years Hold Hands as They Die of Coronavirus on the Same Day

A couple who were married for more than half a century reportedly succumbed to coronavirus complications on the same day in Texas.

According to CNN, Betty and Curtis Tarpley, 80 and 79, died within an hour of each other on June 18 and held hands during their final minutes together.

The couple’s son, Tim Tarpley, told the network that Betty showed symptoms of the deadly disease just before she was taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth on June 9. Curtis was admitted to the same hospital just two days later.

Tarpley said Betty phoned both him and his sister, telling them she was at peace with dying as her condition continued to decline.

“I just screamed, ‘No!’ I was like, ‘I’ve got too much, too many other things to do in this life that I want to show you, and I’m not ready,'” he recalled to CNN.

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Wondering What Kind of Face Mask to Buy? These Are the Most Effective Options, Study Finds

Scientific research has proven that masks are one of the most effective tools in stopping the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19. The highly contagious virus can easily infect other people through respiratory droplets from coughs, sneezes or even just talking, if people are standing close together — and especially if they’re indoors.

While a tightly fitted respirator mask is best for protecting a person and anyone around them from spreading COVID-19, a nationwide shortage of those masks means they should be reserved for frontline workers. That leaves the average person with a few options for non-medical face masks. Which ones are most effective?

A group of researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science set out to answer that question, and found that sewn, multi-layered masks — like the ones readily available on Etsy and from many clothing brands — were most effective, followed by cone-style

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