Fact Check: Does wearing two masks offer more protection?

Updated: January 26, 2021 06:24 AM
Created: January 26, 2021 05:52 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— Here's a Fact Check, and it has to do with something we've all been doing for months-- wearing a mask. 

With more contagious strains of COVID-19 spreading, some recommendations say you should now wear two masks to help protect you from these easier to catch versions of the virus.

Here's what we've found experts are saying on whether this actually works.

Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci:

"You know it likely does because this is a physical covering to prevent droplets and viruses to get in," Fauci said. "So if you have a physical covering with one layer, if you put another layer on it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective."

Airborne Disease Transmission Expert, Dr. Linsey Marr:

"Wearing two masks helps improve the filtration ability of the mask in both directions and so it helps protect you better and it helps protect others."

While N-95 masks are still the gold standard, because they block 95% of particles, they may be harder to find, and should be reserved for healthcare workers.

Researchers at Virginia Tech found layering two cloth masks can get that number up to anywhere from 50 to 75%, and wearing a three-layer mask can block up to 90% of particles, which provides near N-95 protection.

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