In-Depth: Helping you understand the CDC's new double mask recommendations

Updated: February 11, 2021 07:08 AM
Created: February 11, 2021 07:02 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y.(WHEC) — We're going In-Depth, with a look at masking guidelines.

You may have heard about this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance saying double masking offers more protection against COVID-19, but we actually wanted to help you to understand this guidance-- so we dug into the research.

The CDC shared an example of both an effective, and ineffective mask. In one diagram, a circled area shows a gap on the side of the mask, between a person's face and the mask itself. The agency says that gap is what makes one mask less effective because it's letting in more particles.

So, to curb the ineffectiveness, the CDC recommends double masking, which includes wearing a medical mask under a cloth mask, or, actually tying a knot in the ear loop of a mask to make it tighter against your face. The agency is also recommending you wear masks with nose-wires because they also make for a tighter fit.

John Vlockens, a mechanical engineering professor and medical researcher at Colorado State University told NBC News, a good reference point for effectiveness is to try the mask out in colder temperatures. 

"If you live in a cold environment, and your glasses or sunglasses are fogging up when you're outside, that means that air is flowing up around the mask into your eyelids, that means that air going both ways in and out of the mask is leaking," Vlockens said.

The CDC went on to say if you and another person are wearing masks properly, the risk of transmission drops by approximately 95%, versus not wearing a mask at all.

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