"Think of your community, not everybody can wear a double mask".
On Wednesday, the CDC released a new report "Maximizing Fit for Cloth and Medical Procedure Masks to Improve Performance" to reduce COVID transmission and exposure.
However, mask wearing has proven to limit the spread of coronavirus in areas where the practice is widely observed. They looked at the difference between wearing a three-layer cotton cloth mask or three-layer medical procedure mask alone, and then the effectiveness of wearing the cloth mask over the medical procedure mask.
Researchers found that layering a cloth mask over a medical procedural mask, such as a disposable blue surgical mask, can block 92.5% of potentially infectious particles from escaping by creating a tighter fit and eliminating leakage.
Schachtel further noted the CDC's own footnote, which acknowledges that "double masking might impede breathing or obstruct peripheral vision for some wearers, and knotting and tucking can change the shape of the mask such that it no longer covers fully both the nose and the mouth of persons with larger faces".
Overall, if two people are both wearing double masks, they reduce their possible exposure to aerosols by more than 96%. According to the CDC's website, a KN95 mask is a type of filtering face mask that is often made in China and is similar to the N95 masks commonly used in the United States.
Marcellino and Schrimsher said N95 masks filter well on their own and that wearing a second mask under an N95 mask would worsen the seal of an N95 mask. They are also still in short supply in many areas of the United States.
Two new variants of COVID-19 have been detected in Hawai'i to date, including the B117 variant, which has been proven to be up to 60% more contagious than the initial strain.
"It feels like the calm before the storm again", she said. "That's why mask usage is important, because we have to assume that it could be here", Marcellino said. "Multiple simple ways to improve fit have been demonstrated to be effective".
Another problem with surgical masks is they don't fit snugly against your face.