Do cloth face coverings work against coronavirus?

If you're planning on flying in Europe any time soon you may want to pack an extra mask.  That's because several airlines have banned cloth face coverings according to reporting by the Washington Post. 

Instead, people will have to wear generic surgical masks or KN95 style respirators.  Companies like Air France and Lufthansa making the decision with variant cases rising around the world.

Dr. Teresa Amato understands the decision.  She's chair of Emergency Medicine at LIJ Forest Hills Hospital.

"We have people come into the building, whether they be patients or visitors, we actually give them our one surgical mask and ask them to take off their own cloth mask because we really can't regulate if they're using an appropriate mask," Dr. Amato said. "And we don't really want to make a judgment. So we just hand out to every visitor and every patient, one of our own surgical masks that we wear, we know is effective."

She says cloth masks do work to prevent the spread of Covid19 and the more contagious delta variant if they're worn correctly and if people don't forget some of the tips they may have learned early on in the Pandemic -- which started more than a year and a half ago.

"You want to make sure that if you hold it up to the light, you can't see light through it. So that'll kind of let you know that it's thick enough," Dr. Amato said. "You also don't want to wear it if it's wet, because it'll be less effective, or it's soiled in any way or damaged."

The CDC does recommends KN95 Masks- also known as respirators- if people will be in close contact with strangers for longer periods of time - just not the ones with the vents.

"Every time we get a new variant, we're not sure how effective the vaccines are going to be. And we can get a new mutation every time it's transmitted," Dr. Amato said. "So if you're in a high prevalence area, or you're going to be around people that are positive for COVID, I would say even if you're vaccinated, just like the CDC note said, if you're in a high-risk area, and you yourself are at risk, you were recommending wearing the mask despite your vaccination status."