A new mask allows people to drink without taking it off or exposing their mouth
(CNN) -- As restaurants, malls and amusement parks around the country reopen, masks have become a necessary part of today's new normal. But covering your nose and mouth in this summer heat isn't easy, especially when it means you can't take a drink of water -- or anything else.
That's led one company to launch the Redee mask, which allows customers to sip on their drinks without risking their safety. The mask, sold by Redee Patch, uses a flap at the base of the mask for people to safely insert a straw without exposing their mouths.
"Our goal is to help people safely drink with their masks on and slow the spread," Redee founder Ryan Lee told CNN. "Since masks might be here for a while, we felt there needed to be something that lets us keep our masks on and have a drink when we're shopping, at a bar, on a plane or at places where masks are required or social distancing is difficult."
While there are other masks with holes or zippers to give people the ability to drink while wearing them, these alternatives still expose the mouth -- which poses a risk of transmitting the coronavirus.
The idea to design a mask that makes drinking possible while covering the mouth came from a desire to help essential workers -- such as baristas, waitresses, cashiers and flight attendants -- who have to work long hours while wearing a mask that makes drinking impossible, according to Lee.
This new mask also comes at a time when bars are struggling to find ways to safely reopen. As Disney World tightens its mask requirement, with guests no longer allowed to eat or drink while walking, the Redee mask will also come in handy at entertainment venues such as amusement parks.
"Since seeing our mask, so many people have told us that they've been wanting to have their water, coffee or tea while they're out or working, but can't," Lee said. "Our product hopefully gives people around the world an easy way to safely enjoy their drink and still do their part by keeping their mask on."
The adjustable Redee Mask is one-size-fits-most and comes with adjustable ear straps. It is available to order online for $24.99.
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