Public health officials are suggesting double masking as a way to increase the level of protection from the coronavirus and its multiple, more contagious variants.
"If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective, and that's the reason why you see people either double masking or doing a version of an N95," Dr. Anthony Fauci, now chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, told NBC's Savannah Guthrie.
President Joe Biden wore a double masks
National youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman arrived at the inauguration wearing a double mask.
Surgical masks, also called medical-grade masks, are made of three layers of nonwoven fabric typically made from plastic. The colored top layer of fabric is made of medical-grade spunbond polypropylene, which is a resin polymer heat-bonded into a weblike structure.
A study found surgical masks were about 50% effective at protecting the wearer from other people's aerosols and between 60% and 70% effective at protecting others.
the best facial coverings for protection are the N95 respirators, made from fibers woven with an electrical charge that can trap errant particles, much like a sock that sticks to a blanket in the dryer. Similar products include the Chinese KN95
But the CDC isn't currently recommending N95 masks for the general public, partly due to a shortage of the masks for health care workers, and also due to concerns that people will tolerate the masks, which can hinder breathing.
Whatever mask you wear, be sure to do so properly -- including while double masking. No uncovered noses are allowed. Both masks should go over the bridge of the nose, below the chin and be flush on the face, resting along the skin, experts say.