As COVID-19 variants are continuously unmasked, it is more necessary than ever to double-up on mask-wearing. Not only does the CDC recommend wearing twice the protection for better filtration, but additionally, fastening the fit of the first mask to frame your face where it is secure from any gaping space. The more layers covering your nose and mouth means less exposure to infection by others’ germs that may penetrate your breathing room, and if you are sick, the better protection others have from contaminated droplets coming from you.
When masks don’t fit correctly, the risk of and contamination of COVID-19 is more transmissible. This is why is it imperative to make sure your mask fit and filtration is formed specifically for your facial contours and respiration needs. The suggestion of doubling-up on masks is essential to the sole factor of protection it is known to foster (which is blocking more than 90% of transmission).
Mask layering methods – Better protection from spread/exposure of COVID-19:
- Fabric cloth mask that has multiple layers
- This does not include the layering of scarves, valve masks, or neck gaiters
- Double Mask
- Wear a nonmedical disposable mask on and around your nose/mouth area for a snug but breathable fit
- The second mask should secure the first mask’s perimeter against your face
- Do not layer two disposable masks
Additional measures for fit and filtration
- Another option is to wear a mask fitter or brace. These “frames” are highly effective in improving the fit of your cloth or disposable mask around the edges of your face, once more, leading to better protection from COVID-19 transmission.
- Adding layers is important but ensuring a close-fitting mask with a nose wire will reduce transmission up to 96.5%, minimizing chances of contagion from others. This metal strip along the top of the mask will help prevent air leakage, so before its usage in public spaces, make sure to mold the nose wire over your nose to adjust to your face. Nose wires are also a plus for those who wear eyeglasses – less murky views!
- Physically altering the usability of a 3-ply mask by knotting the ear loops near the edge and folding and inserting the extra material under those edges is another confirmed method of an adequate mask function. Video instructions have been created for visual help.
When implementing previous measures, ensure:
- Breathing is not complicated
- Wearing a mask may negatively affect your respiration, requiring more effort to breathe. This could be a possibility when wearing a “double mask.” Take all necessary and protective steps to ensure you are still following mask procedures but pay attention to your breathing efforts.
- Sight is not hindered
- Layering masks could lead to obstructed vision. Blocked vision could lead to a multitude of injuries.