The NoCo Virus Tracker articles are made possible by our partners, the Keep NoCo Open campaign that reminds citizens to wear a mask, wash your hands, physically distance and support local as Northern Colorado recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

When it comes to choosing a face mask, there are many people who don't know where to start. What are the best brands? Which ones will allow me to breathe and speak clearly? Most importantly...which masks protect me the most?

The New York Times has been putting together a study on the best face masks in the current market, which they note in their article sometimes feels like the "Wild West". They reached out to a variety of experts and medical professionals to decide which ones were worth the money for the average consumer, but they needed to actually study the masks: paint a clearer picture on how protective each of these masks really is.

They reached out to Colorado State University.

According to the article,

"We commissioned an independent lab at Colorado State University’s Center for Energy Development and Health to test how well the masks might filter droplet- and aerosol-size particles."

CSU's Center for Energy Development and Health director, John Volkens, and the associate director, Christian L'Orange, as well as their team were tasked with taking 25 masks and evaluating them for filtration efficiency. How?

In the tests, the researchers sealed each mask—or mask with filter, if the company sold one—to a fixture in such a way that particles would flow through only a portion of the mask measuring 89 mm (about 3.5 inches) in diameter. (Source)

You can find out more about the test in the original article, but I know what you're thinking: which mask is the best? Check out the full guide, which features winning masks from Kitsbow, Graf Lantz, and more, right here.

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