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COMMENTARY: What can masks do? Part 1: The science behind COVID-19 protection

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Editor's Note: Part 1 of a two-part commentary explains the differences in cloth face coverings and surgical masks, the science of respiratory protection, and the hierarchy of disease controls.

Part 2, to be published tomorrow, will outline what makes a good mask study and why so many fail.Dr Brosseau is a national expert on respiratory protection and infectious diseases and a research consultant with the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota (UMN).

Dr Ulrich is a UMN assistant professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences and a CIDRAP researcher. Dr Escandón is a physician and infectious diseases researcher in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine at

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