Face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but you could be getting more protection out of them by wearing two.
Research shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently noted the increased effectiveness of multi-layered masks or wearing two masks compared to a single-layer or just one mask.
Multi-layer cloth masks can block up to 50-70 percent of fine droplets and particles and limit the forward spread of those captured.
The message is pressing in the United States where more than 400,000 people have died due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. This is the most deaths from COVID-19 reported by any country. The closest any other country has come to the U.S. fatality toll is Brazil, where more than 211,000 people have died due to the virus, according to Statista.
Early adopters of double masks include President-elect Joe Biden and NFL coaches, according to CBSNews.
“Experimental and epidemiological data support community masking to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2,” the CDC said. “Adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns, especially if combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, hand hygiene, and adequate ventilation.”
The CDC said that medical and cloth face masks prevent the spread of COVID-19 predominantly by trapping respiratory droplets generated by coughs, sneezes, singing, and talking from passing on to other people. Masks also reduce inhalation of other people’s droplets.
Wearing two masks, or multi-layered cloth masks creates an “obstacle course” for the virus to make its way into the air, explained CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida in an interview.
According to the CDC, the best face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are non-valved, multi-layered cloth masks. It is important that everyone wears a mask, even if they are feeling healthy, as COVID-19 can be asymptomatic in some people, the CDC said. You can spread the virus without ever being aware that you were sick. Asymptomatic people account for 50 percent of virus transmissions, the CDC said.
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