CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Universal mask-wearing to slow the spread of COVID-19 is just one of the preventative strategies recommended by the CDC. On Wednesday, the CDC released data that stated two masks could be better than one if worn properly.
Those with Roper Saint Francis Hospital said the idea of double masking is not a new concept, as many have been recommending masks with multiple layers for some time.
Dr. Melissa Ellis-Yarian, a physician with Roper St. Francis, said masks are a big part of preventing spread as they’ve been proven to work. However, she said it’s important to note that not all masks are created equal.
So the N-95 is the gold standard, that protects us the most, but it’s about layers, it’s about how thick that mask is. So adding more layers, makes sense, it’s logical that you’re going to get more protection, but also remember, it’s not just about layers, it also has to fit snuggly all the way around your face.Dr. Melissa Ellis-Yarian, Roper St. Francis
As for how you can double mask? Dr. Ellis-Yarian said it’s as simple as placing a cloth mask on top of a surgical mask to close the gaps and create a seal. This way, the two masks can more effectively prevent the virus from spreading. According to the CDC, doctors looked into double masking to determine if there was a way to make masks that are more protective like N-95s but more easily accessible.
Aside from double masking, Dr. Ellis-Yarian said another effective way to close gaps on disposable masks is to tie or twist the earloops. In doing so, you are still achieving that no sides are left open and further protecting yourself and others against the original COVID-19 virus or other variants that will come and go.
For more on the CDC’s double masking study, click here.