Wearing two masks can protect you against COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We know that universal masking works,” John T. Brooks, CDC’s medical officer for COVID-19 response. “And now these variants are circulating…whatever we can do to improve the fit of mask to make it work better, the faster we can end this pandemic.”
The CDC says two methods can help protect you — wearing a surgical mask underneath a cloth mask and tying the ear loops for a closer fit. A laboratory experiment using dummies revealed that both methods reduced exposure to potentially infectious aerosols by more than 95 percent.
“And well-fitting masks provide the greatest performance at both blocking emitted aerosols and exposure of the aerosols to the receiver. In the breathing experiment, having both the source and the receiver wear masks modified to fit better reduced the receiver’s exposure by more than 95%, compared to no mask at all,” Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director, said during a briefing from the White House COVID-19 Response Team.
It is important to find a method that works best for you. Everyone has different needs — comfort and functionality are the most important elements to take into consideration.
“I would rather people focus on finding one quality mask that meets the mark, versus trying to layer masks and create discomfort, difficulty breathing…or frustration that might lead to no mask at all,” Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease epidemiologist and assistant professor at George Mason University, said.