On Feb. 13, the CDC released new guidelines in regards to protection from Covid-19 with proper masking techniques, such as double masking.
The most important thing stressing Americans is mask protection and using a well fitted mask. When an ill-fit mask is worn, it could have gaps, which can lead to more respiratory droplets leaking out and spreading the virus.
Wearing a mask with a nose wire helps seal the top of the mask as well as help the mask fit closer to the face. Wearing a well fitted mask that rests close to the face also is said to be very effective.
A well fitted mask will not allow air to flow in or out of the sides of the mask nor the top near your eyes. A recommended way to help make a mask fit tight and secure is by knotting the ear loops before putting them around your ears to provide a tighter and more secure fit.
New research conducted by the CDC states that wearing two masks is more effective. The CDC suggested that wearing a disposable mask with a cloth mask on top greatly helps not only you from spreading the virus, but also protecting you from exposure. The combination of a disposable mask that has a nose wire with a cloth mask on top helps provide a better fit which minimizes the chances of gaps.
The CDC does not recommend the use of using two disposable masks as they are not made to fit tightly, therefore wearing two will not help the fit of the mask. They also do not recommend combining any mask with a KN95 mask as the KN95 mask are meant to provide adequate protection on their own.
Karla Galaviz, a registered nurse at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, understands the recommendation of double masking, but also stresses the bigger importance of general hygiene to combat the virus.
Picture Description: Nurse Karla Galaviz (On the far right) with her co-workers.
“I think we’d be much better off in containing the spread of COVID-19 by practicing thorough hand-washing and proper social distancing. Someone could be double masking but still be touching things or people contaminated with droplets. Someone could be double masking and think it’s okay to attend a party because they’ve got what they perceive as an extra layer of protection” says Galaviz. While being in a pandemic for over a year, we’ve learned tactics on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Washing your hands constantly or using hand sanitizer might not be as routine as it once was.
“In a hospital setting we’re taught that the most effective way to prevent infections of any kind is to practice good hand hygiene, that way we’re not spreading viruses or bacteria from patient to patient. If the general population washed their hands or sanitized them as often as we do we’d stop spreading COVID droplets everywhere,” says Galaviz.
Masking is important to help slow the spread of the virus, but it is also important to remember hand hygiene as well. Hand sanitizer and regularly washing your hands combined with proper masking techniques will help slow the spread of the virus and protect yourself and others.