Wearing Two Masks to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
February 16, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
The American CDC (Centers for Disease Control) released guidelines a few days ago which recommend the use of two masks rather than one to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We understand now that the primary method of the coronavirus spread is via droplets exhaled by those infected with the virus. Improving the filtration of the air being inhaled is the key to reducing the spread of COVID-19.
New variants of the virus are much more infectious than the original COVID-19 and it, therefore, takes fewer of the droplets to infect a person. In response to the new variants, the CDC did the analysis and has provided several recommendations to help slow the spread of new variants and to reduce the likelihood of catching COVID-19.
Two key recommendations are to improve the fit of masks being used and to double mask. Both of these actions will reduce the chance of inhaling the droplets of liquid that contain the virus when you are in public places or around other people in workplaces who may be asymptomatic or symptomatic.
Ways to Improve Fit of Mask
Improving the fit of your mask helps stop air (and respiratory droplets containing the virus) from flowing around the edges of the mask into your respiratory system. A well-fitting mask forces the air to flow through the mask capturing the virus before you inhale it.
- Nose Wires: Use 3 layer cloth or medical procedure masks that have a nose wire which can be adjusted to your face shape and which help prevent air leakage at the top of the mask. The nose wire will also help to prevent fogging of eyeglasses. Make sure to bend the nose wire to the shape of your nose and face to get the best fit.
- Fold and Tuck unneeded elastics and materials: If the ear of face loops are too long to allow your mask to fit snugly you can knot the ear loops where they join the edge of the mask and fold and tuck the unneeded material under the edges. This method is called “knotting and tucking”. Check out the YouTube video from the CDC
You can check the fit of your mask by breathing regularly and cupping your hands around the edges of the mask. If you feel air escaping at the edges then your mask doesn’t fit well.
Wearing Two Masks is Better Than One
Double Masking – Adding more layers to reduce virus coming through the mask Double Masking – The CDC has advised that wearing two masks in a specific combination will help reduce the spread of the virus. Double masking improves fit and filtration.
Double masking only applies to one combination of masks – A three-layer cloth mask over a medical procedure mask. Wearing two medical procedure masks or wearing anything over an N95 mask is NOT recommended at this time.
Medical procedure masks are not designed to fit tightly and wearing two together WILL NOT improve fit.
Anytime you are double masking you should be sure that:
- Breathing is not difficult
- Vision is not obstructed
Remember to practice good mask-wearing and hand hygiene habits.
- Only handle your mask by the ear loops, never by the face of the mask.
- Wear the mask to cover your nose and mouth, don’t slide it up and down and don’t fuss with it once it is on
- Ensure that your mask is clean and not torn
- Ensure your mask fits securely
- Wear your mask whenever you are in public places and near other people
- Wash your cloth masks regularly
- Wash your hands with soap and water / use alcohol sanitizer anytime you handle your mask or enter and leave your house, car or public spaces
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About Deutschmann Law
Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.