ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – With the coronavirus pandemic seemingly on the down-slope in the Empire State, the economy may start slowly re-opening. However, the Centers for Disease Control continues to recommend the public wear face coverings when out in public, especially in places where social distancing is difficult.

With that, there is one main question. Disposable paper or reusable, washable cloth? Many people are making homemade masks for themselves and others. On the other hand, many are using disposable single-use masks to protect themselves from the virus. Which one is actually better for your health?

We sat down, digitally, with Dr. Richard Terry, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at LECOM in Elmira to get his opinion on the subject. Dr. Terry emphasized that the protection offered is comparable. To clean homemade masks, simply run them through the washing machine like any other clothing. So, if you are worried about the number of disposable masks getting put into landfills, make your own mask and continue to be protected when at the store.

When asked about the masks he said that masks will not 100% prevent your contraction of the coronavirus, however since it is often spread through respiratory droplets, using a face covering when it is difficult to socially distance will help prevent contraction from those droplets. When you’re able to socially distance, the effects are less and say you’re out jogging, the effects are even less so.

18 News Reporter Elise Kim made a tutorial on how you can make a reusable cloth mask out of an old t-shirt. You can find that tutorial here.