Doubling Up on Face Masks
As we continue to fight COVID-19, we are learning more tips and tricks for how to protect ourselves from contracting the Coronavirus. With all the mixed messaging about how to properly wear a mask, what type of fabric it should be made from and how many you need to wear, this can often leave most of us confused on what is factual and what is not. So, does doubling up on face mask really protect you more from COVID-19? The short answer is, yes!
Experts say wearing two masks gives you an extra layer of protection from germs and COVID-19. Wearing a disposable facemask and then layering a second mask that is cloth over it helps close the gaps around your face that might be there when wearing a disposable mask that does not fit properly. This is very similar to the effect an N-95 mask offers. While a better alternative than single masking, it is important to remember double masking is not a substitute for maintaining a social distance of 6 feet.
“it may not be necessary to double mask every day, but it is a very good idea when you are in a setting where you expect to be close to others…”Dr. Kevin DiBenedetto
Kevin DiBenedetto, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Premier Health, suggest “since most people don’t wear mask properly with the mask fitting flush to the skin, double masking is a safer way to ensure that you are protecting yourself.” Dr. DiBenedetto continues, “it may not be necessary to double mask every day, but it is a very good idea when you are in a setting where you expect to be close to others, which is when you are less than 6 feet apart from someone for more than 15 minutes.” Dr. DiBenedetto goes on to say, “if you do have an N95 mask, there is no reason to double mask.”
Slow The Spread
According to the CDC, wearing two masks can, “improve filtration by adding more layers of material to reduce the number of respiratory droplets containing the virus that come through the masks.” Since COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets, this is another way that we can protect ourselves from contracting the Coronavirus while continuing to practice social distancing and proper handwashing techniques.
The bottom line is whether you’re wearing two masks or one mask, it is important to make sure your mask fits properly around your face and has at least two layers of fabric.
For more information about medically approved masking techniques, COVID-19 updates or ways to protect you and your family from Coronavirus, you can visit the CDC’s website here for more information.
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