The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday that what you’ve heard is true, two masks are indeed better than one to help slow the transmission of COVID-19.
A CDC experiment using two artificial heads set 6 feet apart and tested the spread of coronavirus-sized particles. They found that one mask or (surgical or cloth) blocked about 40% of the particles. Whereas, two masks, blocked about 80% of particles.
When both heads had on two masks, about 95% of particles were blocked, the CDC’s Dr. John Brooks reported to ABC News.
“We know that universal masking works,” Brooks, medical officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s covid-19 response told The Washington Post. “And now these variants are circulating … whatever we can do to improve the fit of a mask to make it work better, the faster we can end this pandemic.”
The CDC recently updated its mask guidance suggesting wearing two masks. Additionally, the agency is taking down a do-it-yourself page.
This is especially important with respect to new variants of the virus, described to be highly contagious and easily spread.
“Double masking adds an extra layer of filter, making it even more difficult for the drops of moisture ridden with the virus to get to you or to spread to others,” says Aline M. Holmes, D.N.P., R.N., a clinical associate professor at the Rutgers University School of Nursing.
Wearing two masks can also come in handy when people are in high-risk settings like a hospital or a nursing home, or if they are sick with COVID and want to protect others.