Dr. Anthony Fauci recently suggested that wearing two masks at once was a good way to offer further protection against exposure to COVID-19, and now the CDC has echoed his sentiments. Per a new CDC study, researchers have determined that double-masking can reduce risk of exposure to infectious aerpsols by 95 percent, showing that the better a mask fits, the better protection it will provide.
The public health agency found that wearing a cloth mask over a traditional medical procedure mask boosts protection, while tying knots on the ear loops of medical masks provides a similar level of protection by pulling the mask closer to the wearer’s face. Other options to keep a mask closely fit include a nylon covering, or a “mask fitter” device. The arrival of the study comes just a week after two studies that showed masks have helped slow hospitalizations in states that have made it mandatory to wear face coverings in public spaces.
"We know that universal masking works," CDC COVID-19 response medical officer John T. Brooks said, per the Washington Post. "And now these variants are circulating … whatever we can do to improve the fit of a mask to make it work better, the faster we can end this pandemic." It is believed that double-masking is especially effective since new strains are more transmissible.
Fauci made similar comments about double-masking last month, calling it a “more effective” way to stay safe. "If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective," Fauci said. "That's the reason why you see people either double masking or doing a version of an N-95.”