Cloth mask tested by nursing faculty shows promise
Two faculty members at the Washington State University College of Nursing are testing a fabric mask made with a filter available at big-box stores as an alternative to sometimes-scarce N95 masks.
Marian Wilson, assistant professor at the College of Nursing in Spokane, and Roschelle Fritz, assistant professor at the College of Nursing in Vancouver, began collaborating this spring when the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were coming into focus.
“It was clear PPE (personal protective equipment) was going to be an issue and nurses on the front lines were being asked to wear their N95 masks for an indefinite period of time,” Fritz said, referring to respirators that filter out 95% of particles in the air. “Marian and I just delved into the literature, trying to see if there was anything out there that could protect people.”