Health Care

How to safely wear and remove your mask

How to safely wear and remove your mask”

"So it's not that these new viral variants or any new virus information has suggested that previous masks aren't sufficient, it's just the ones that are typically worn in the public aren't measuring up", said Dr. Jenne. "But it's a whole lot easier to wear one mask rather than three masks".

Dr Scott Segal, MD and chair of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, agreed, telling Health: "Wearing two masks might be a reasonable idea if the filtration capability of the masks isn't very strong". "I would actually argue it's more about making sure at least one of those masks are fitting better, closer, tighter against your face".

The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to recommend the use of three-layer non-medical masks with a filter layer.

CDC data shows that a two-layer cloth masks blocks 50 to 70% of fine droplets and particles in addition to limiting the forward spread of those particles.

Masks have proved to be dramatically effective in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

We hear it all the time...mask up!

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) doesn't now recommend double-masking, saying in a statement that "Canada's context is different from that of the U.S".

Apart from adding an extra layer of protection and helping to hold down the surgical mask better, the top fabric layer also helps to keep the medical-grade mask underneath dry and clean.

That means people need to be more committed to limiting infections, he says.

Walensky said there were "ongoing studies evaluating the protective efficacy of these masks, especially in the context of these new variants we're seeing and so we'll see more data on that to come".

To double-mask, or not to double-mask?

They are rated by the American Society for Testing and Materials according to the level of protection they offer, from level 1 to 3.

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"We are going to have to take more precautions and that's going to include, I think, double-masking as part of our efforts".

Zain Chagla, infectious disease physician and associate professor at McMaster University, says the current guidelines in Canada recommending three-layer masks still make sense and will still be effective in prevention of spread.

He continued: "If you are wearing a mask with an inside lining and an outside lining, so two different materials, it may be the same as a double mask of a single thickness made from two different materials".

How often should people be washing or replacing their masks?

So, what is the best way to "double mask"?

Wang agrees double-masking loses its effectiveness if it causes "overheating, poor breathability or (carbon dioxide) retention problems". So, when we wear it, we should wear it well, always remembering that death and life are in the power of a mask.

Healthcare experts recommend wearing a double-layer fabric mask on top of a medical-grade mask, such as a regular surgical mask or a KN95 respirators.

THE new strain of the novel coronavirus has put many on heightened alert, some of whom have masked up for safety.

Masks should be worn in public settings when you're around people who don't live in your household, especially when indoors and when it may be hard for you to stay six feet apart from people who don't live with you.

If you have to continually adjust your mask, it doesn't fit properly, and you might need to find a different mask type or brand.

Even a brief interaction, such as walking next to someone on a sidewalk, could be enough to transmit more contagious forms of the virus, he points out, although the exact time of exposure posing a danger remains to be determined.

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