Masks can lower the risk of people infected with COVID-19 from spreading the virus through saliva/mucous droplets that are expelled into the air when they speak, cough or sneeze. These droplets often evaporate into tiny particles that can linger in the air and infect others. Masks trap a person's droplets before they can evaporate and become contagious for others. This is critical because at least 1 in 6 people infected with COVID-19 does not have
symptoms. It is important to remember that masks are most effective when they are used by all people in public settings.