5 Things To Know About Double Masking

Feb 1, 2021, 6:26 PM | Updated: Dec 23, 2022, 10:31 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — There’s been a lot of talk recently about double masking. Does it work? When should you do it? Is it your best defense? KSL-TV has everything you need to know. 

As new variants of the coronavirus begin popping up, there is a renewed effort to make sure everyone is wearing the right mask.

While the new variants don’t have super powers that rip through your mask, it takes less exposure to them to get you sick.

Everyone should be looking at their masks, but especially those who spend a lot of time around other people — on public transit or at work — and deciding how best you want to protect yourself.

“Double masking might be helpful, but certainly more than anything, just wear a mask and wear it properly,” said Dr. Russell Vinik, chief medical officer for University of Utah Health Plans.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Your type of mask is important. If you’ve been wearing a bandana, gater, or scarf, it’s time to step it up.
  • You need something with three layers of fabric.
    • Try to add a layer of filtration to a cotton mask, which likely only has two layers. You can use KN95 filters, coffee filters, even those blue shop rags from the auto supply store.
  • Make sure it fits properly you want the air to go in and out the fabric of the mask, not in and out through the gaps around your face.
  • Make sure your mask is flat along the bridge of your nose, the sides of your face, and comes below your chin.
    • You may need a mask with adjustable ear straps or that ties on.
    • You may see people wearing a surgical mask — which provides better filtration, but often doesn’t fit as well — under a cloth mask, which fits their face better but provides less filtration.
  • While N95s are the gold standard, we still need to save those for healthcare workers.

Remember, you can have too many layers. You should still be able to breathe comfortably.

As we get closer to a vaccine being more available, Vinik said it’s important to stay vigilant. After all, the best way to prevent COVID-19 from mutating is to not give it bodies to mutate in.

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5 Things To Know About Double Masking