Consumer Alert: Wearing double masks

Consumer Alert: Wearing double masks”

Amid fears of the new Kent version of coronavirus that originated in Britain spreading across the world, health experts in the United States are asking people to wear not just one but two masks to safeguard themselves against coronavirus.

In a lab test with dummies, exposure to potentially infectious aerosols decreased by 95 percent when the dummy was wearing a cloth mask over a medical mask or when the medical mask had knotted ear loops and tucked-in sides, according to the CDC. Read on to learn where a better mask is a must, and to find out which masks to avoid, check out The CDC Warns Against Using These 6 Face Masks.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study that again backed the effectiveness of wearing a face covering to block respiratory droplets that can spread the coronavirus, but stressed it must be tightly fitted to the face. The CDC recommends wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask.

Scientists have prescribed wearing a cloth mark on top of a surgical mask to provide the fullest protection.

Is it time to wear 2 masks? Here's what local experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are saying

Dr. Thomas Marcellino, Douglas County's health officer, said strategies such as double masking have increasingly been on people's minds.

The guidance warns against wearing two disposable masks, because they are not created to fit tightly, and also says high-quality N-95 masks should not be combined with other masks. Wearers should ensure a tight fit by cupping their hands on the outside edges of the mask to check for gaps.

For instructions on how to knot and tuck the ear loops of a medical procedure mask in order to improve the fit, the CDC linked to a YouTube video by UNC Health titled "Pro Tip to help your Earloop Mask Fit More Tightly". They are also still in short supply in many areas of the United States.

Should new COVID-19 variants send the number of cases in Douglas County in the wrong direction, and should the hospital become overwhelmed, Marcellino said the health department might need to recommend double masking. "Multiple simple ways to improve fit have been demonstrated to be effective".

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