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February 15, 2021

While You Wait For A Vaccine, Here’s What The CDC Now Says About Masks

On Feb. 9, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidance suggesting that Americans consider wearing two masks to protect themselves from COVID-19.

There are two methods that the CDC suggests to improve mask fit and protection: wear a cloth mask over a disposable surgical mask or improve the fit of a single surgical mask by knotting the ear loops and tucking in the sides close to the face to prevent air from leaking out around the edges and to form a closer fit.

These two approaches have been shown to reduce aerosols by more than 95 percent. According to the CDC, individuals should not combine two disposable masks since they are not designed to fit tightly and wearing ill-fitting two masks will not improve the fit. Wearers also should not combine an N95 or KN95 mask with another mask. What is the reason behind the new guidance? With more infectious variants of COVID-19 circling in the United States, these methods are intended to help protect against transmission and infection.

The CDC has more information here.