Mask Fit & Style Updates

Headwaters School
In addition to choosing the right mask, wearing it correctly makes a big difference in efficacy. A well-fitting mask is one that fits snugly against the sides of your face AND covers your nose and mouth and can be secured under your chin.
Here are some reminders:
  • Wear a mask correctly and consistently for the best protection.
    • Be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on a mask.
    • Do NOT touch the mask when wearing it. If you have to touch/adjust your mask often, it doesn’t fit you properly, and you may need to find a different mask or make adjustments.
  • How to Improve Fit
    • Follow the user instructions for the mask or respirator. These instructions may show how to make sure the product fits properly.
    • Wear two masks (disposable surgical mask underneath AND cloth mask on top) can provide great protection. Do not double mask with a N95 or similar style.
    • A cloth mask can be combined with a fitter or brace
    • Knot and tuck ear loops of a 3-ply mask where they join the edge of the mask. Then fold and tuck the unneeded material under the edges. (For instructions, see this video.)
    • Cord locks for ear loops - to make ear loops adjustable
    • Nose bridge adhesive pads  - helps mask stay in place and prevents glasses from fogging
    • Aluminum nose pieces - stick to outside of mask to help mask stay in place 
  • N95 vs KN95 vs KF94 vs Surgical Masks: What to know
    • NIOSH-approved N95 respirators are the gold standard mask in the US. Surgical N95s are still prioritized for healthcare workers.
    • KN95s were emergency approved in the US in 2020 and are regulated by the Chinese government. According to the CDC, about 60% KN95 respirators in the United States are counterfeit (fake) and do not meet NIOSH requirements.
    • KF94 masks similar to KN95s in look and fit, filtering out about 94% of airborne particles. They’re regulated by the Korean government, not by NIOSH. There are often more sizes for this type of mask.
    • ASTM Level 3 Surgical Masks are also good alternatives
    • You may also want to check out N99, N100, P95, P99, P100, R95, R99, and R100 masks that offer protection like a N95. 

Where to Buy
Here are some places you may find masks, but please be mindful as many companies are delays due to the volume of orders.
  • Armbrust: Austin company with N95 and Level 3 surgical masks in childrens and adult sizes. 
  • Well Before: Also has kids masks
  • Bona Fide Masks: Level 3 surgical masks in adult and children sizes
  • Amazon
  • Home Depot
  • CVS
    KN Flax: Via Amazon and offers adult and child size KF94s
Here are some spots you may find masks for children:

Springs Campus

18 months to Pre-K
6305 Menchaca Rd.
Austin, TX 78745
Phone: 512-443-8843

Creek Campus

Elementary School
9607 Brodie Ln.
Austin, TX 78748
Phone: 512-804-2708
Fax: 512-628-4810

River Campus

Middle & High School
807 Rio Grande St.
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-480-8142
Fax: 512-480-0278