Double Masking: When and How Should it be Done?

Keela Delves, News Editor

As the Covid-19 Pandemic continues, many people are very much still concerned about potentially getting infected with the virus. The new strains and variants have begun to encourage people to double mask in order to keep themselves safe and protected. However, questions about how and when it should be done have become a large conversation. 

Why Should People be Double Masking?

With an increase in variants of Covid-19, it is easier for the virus to spread from person to person. These new variants of a more contagious version of the virus mean the spread and need for masking is very much still prevalent. Because of this, the way that people have been masking, specifically with a single surgical mask, is not always the most effective way to prevent penetrative particles. It is recommended that people begin to wear surgical masks beneath cloth masks or N-95/K-95 masks.

Which Masks are the Best to Wear?

Firstly, it is not recommended to wear two surgical masks at the same time. The idea of double masking is recommended because it is important to have two barriers or filters to prevent droplets of the virus from passing from person to person. When someone wears two surgical masks, it does not create the proper full barrier of protection and still allows gapping at the side of the mask wearer’s face, allowing in droplets. Instead, it would be much more effective to wear a surgical mask beneath another cloth mask, allowing the cloth mask to close the gaps created by the surgical mask. 

How Do People Test for Leaks?

As per C.D.C recommendation, to test for leaks simply cup your hand over the edges of your mask. If you are able to feel an escape of air, it is recommended that you tighten the nose bridge and straps or find a tighter fitting cloth mask to allow less air to leak through the mask. It is important to adequately double mask to prevent an escape of air and particles into the public. 

This graphic demonstrates to the public the most effective ways to prevent infection through the use of double masking. Double masking recommendations come as increased variants of the virus emerge. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)