The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the public to double mask when going out, citing its effectiveness in reducing the spread of Covid-19. Studies have shown that double masking can block up to 85 percent of aerosol particles, while a single cloth or surgical mask only blocks 51 and 56 percent of aerosol particles respectively.
What are the benefits of double masking?
The Covid virus is mainly spread through respiratory droplets that are made when someone talks, coughs or sneezes. The material in our mask filters these droplets and is our main protection from this virus when we are in public. By adding an additional layer of mask, we increase the filtration power of the masks, keeping ourselves extra safe.
Improves the fit of your mask
Masks are made for all face shapes and sizes so certain masks may not fit you perfectly. If you notice air escaping through the sides of your mask, your mask is too loose on your face. Particles containing the virus can escape or enter through this gap between your face and mask. When double masking the outer mask can apply gentle pressure to seal this gap and prevent any particles from escaping or entering.
How to double mask?
While double masking might seem straightforward, the combination of the mask used is important. Here are some tips for double masking:
- Use a proper mask combination which is a cloth mask over a surgical mask.
- Avoid other mask combinations as it may not improve fit and will make it difficult to breathe.
- Test it at home before using it in public.
- Make sure the outer mask presses the inner mask close to your face and forms a seal. You can test this by cupping your hand over your mask and feel for air escaping from the sides when you breathe. If you don’t feel any air escaping, your mask is properly sealed.
- Your double mask should not make breathing difficult or block your vision.
Take extra precaution and double up when we are out in public to help stop the spread of the virus. Follow these tips to ensure you are properly protected.
Stay safe everyone!