Two masks or one? ‘Double-masking’ could be best secured from COVID-19
U.S. government researchers found that two masks are better than one in slowing coronavirus spread, but health officials stopped short of recommending that everyone double up.
Tightly fitted masks included using a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, knotting the ear loops of the medical mask, and tucking in the extra material close to the face.
More than 95 percent of the particles were blocked while both the exhaling and inhaling heads were double-masked, said Dr. John Brooks of the CDC.
“The first challenge is to get as many as people as possible masking. And then for those that do mask, to help them get the best benefit out of that mask,” Brooks said.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 is transmitted predominately by respiratory droplets expelled when people cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe.
Mask-wearing has long been common in some countries during respiratory outbreaks, especially in parts of Asia, but not in the United States.
Some materials, such as polypropylene, may make filtration more effective by generating a form of static electricity that better captures charged particles, the CDC found.
As Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease scientist at the University of Toronto, said, discussions on double-masking and higher-quality masks are relevant.