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Are 2 Masks Better Than One? 

 March 23, 2021

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One year after the start of the Coronavirus pandemic that crippled the entire world, new information is still be discovered on how to best prevent exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.

At the forefront of the fight was the use of facemasks. Debates on whether surgical masks, cloth coverings, or better N95 Filtration masks were best are just part of the debate. In addition to shortages of PPE supplies and everyone scrambling for safety, new reports are showing that there is not only a proper way to wear a mask, but also that doubling up is effective in reducing exposure from infected wearers to those who are uninfected.

As more states loosen up social distancing rules and people head out to restaurants and other social gatherings this information is critical to know. The Center for Disease Control has already conducted tests to see what type of mask was most effective. Based on their findings, here is what the CDC is recommending.

Improving fit and, in turn, filtration improves medical procedure mask performance.

To achieve this you should use a double mask and knot and tuck the medical procedure mask inside of it (see the CDC’s Figure 1 image below).

Based on its research findings, the knotted and tucked medical procedure mask blocked 77 percent of the particles that are expelled during a cough. In the instance where a cloth mask was placed over a medical mask this reduced exposure by 83 percent.

So the answer is yes, two masks are better than one mask when it comes to prevention and safety while out in public. Stay informed about new information as it’s released. In order to stop the global spread of this virus, widespread vaccinations and community immunity is needed. Be sure you’re choosing mask options that meet standards when it comes to airflow, protection, and fit.

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