I saw the article mentioned N95 masks, and since I'm curious about any technology, did a little digging.
Protecting yourself from coronavirus: The two types of face masks that can help
Cnet by Caroline Roberts
A face mask can protect you from contracting a cold, flu or other virus -- just make sure you get the right kind.
...Do respirators actually prevent viral infections?
The answer to this is yes, but the exact effect is difficult to define. Studies have shown that they're highly effective in preventing viral illnesses, but only in people that actually wore the masks correctly, which is rare.
N95 masks are difficult to put on for people who aren't medical professionals. If you've put the mask on right, it gets hot and stuffy, so a lot of people take it off before it can do any good.
Another study showed that respiratory masks are helpful in preventing viral infections, but only when combined with frequent handwashing.
The bottom line? A government-approved N95 mask can lower your chance of viral illness, but only if you use it correctly. Plus, you should still continue other common-sense preventative measures, like washing your hands frequently, not touching your mouth or nose and avoiding other sick people.
If you don't have access to an N95 mask, a surgical face mask will suffice. Though, as noted, you'll get less protection from airborne viruses if you wear a face mask. Hall says that wrapping a scarf or other cotton fiber around your nose and mouth can also work in a bind.