Double Masking: With New COVID-19 Variants, Are Two Masks Higher Than One?

Masks have changed into a lifestyle throughout this pandemic. You do not go away house without one. Might have spares in your automotive, purse, or backpack. Gown them up or gown them down, relying on the season or the place you are going. However, with new and probably extra infectious COVID-19 variants arising and spreading, is it time to add a second mask to your routine?

There’s loads of dispute on the subject at this level, as exemplified by Dr. Tony Fauci recommending double-masking, however considerably softening his stance just a few days later.

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Does Double-Masking Make A Distinction?

We already know {that} masks may also help defend you from each catching and spreading COVID-19. However, are two masks actually higher than one? Or is double-masking simply an unwarranted pattern?

“In the case of stopping the unfold of infectious respiratory droplets, including extra layers in all probability is not a foul factor — so long as you are doing so accurately,” says Dr. Sostman.

Should you’re contemplating double-masking, Dr. Sostman recommends:

  • Sporting an ASTM-rated surgical mask beneath a material masks
  • Making certain the fabric masks enhances the general match, sealing gaps alongside the sides of the surgical masks
  • Eradicating your material masks if it turns soiled or contaminated
  • Washing your material masks regularly

“Assembly the factors above is particularly essential for well-being care personnel who select to double-mask,” provides Dr. Sostman.

As well as, Dr. Sostman warns to not let sporting second masks provide you with a false sense of added safety.

“First, double-masking doesn’t make it safer to be nearer to a different individual. Second, sporting two low-quality masks doesn’t imply double the filtration. Lastly, including a second mask that negatively impacts the match and seal of your surgical masks may do extra hurt than good,” explains Dr. Sostman.

Lastly, earlier than deciding whether or not you ought to be double-masking, it is essential to first be certain the masks you are already sporting is definitely efficient.

Double-Masking Or Single-Masking, Be Certain Your Masks Is Efficient

There are a number of mask choices on the market: Surgical masks. Heavier-duty masks, like N95 and KN95 masks. Material masks. No matter which you select, you must know what makes masks efficient.

“Surgical masks are made from three layers of plastic-based cloth. These are a cheap choice that gives good safety, and you might contemplate including a material mask on high to assist enhance the match,” recommends Dr. Sostman. “Heavier-duty masks are, in fact, extra protecting, however N95s ought to ideally be reserved for well-being care employees in case a brief provide arises. Additionally, N95 masks usually are not comfy to put on for actually lengthy durations they usually must be matched correctly to your face with the intention to obtain excessive filtration effectivity. A poorly becoming N95 mask isn’t useful or secure.”

And in terms of material masks, Dr. Sostman factors out that there is an inconsistency between manufacturers and choices — so there are standards to contemplate.

An efficient material mask is one which:

  • Is made up of at least two layers of tight weave cloth, equivalent to 100% cotton
  • Fully covers your mouth and nostril
  • Suits comfortably in opposition to your face (without gaps on the perimeters)
  • Stays safe underneath your chin and behind your ears
  • Could be washed (and is washed regularly)

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