HOUSTON — Have you noticed people wearing double face masks as of late? Prominent people like President-Elect Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci have been photographed doubling down on the face coverings.
It’s hard enough to get some people to wear one mask, let alone two. But will two make you safer from spreading or contracting COVID-19?
“We talk about masks like they are all the same, but they are not,” said Dr. Catherine Troisi, an epidemiologist at UTHealth School of Public Health.
“If you have a mask that is already double layered and has a pocket you can put a filter in, then it’s probably not necessary to double mask," Dr. Troisi said. "If, however, you have a thin mask, then double masking might be a good idea.”
“If you’re wearing a surgical mask, they are good at filtering, but they don’t tend to fit here (flush to the cheeks) real well, you know?" she said. "You see them gapping. Putting the cloth mask over that to seal it is better.”
Dr. Troisi said there’s no real downside to double masking except possibly making it a bit harder to breathe.
Dr. Troisi said an N95 mask that fits snug to the face is the most effective everyday mask a person can wear.
No matter what kind of mask a person wears, it’s always better than no mask as the virus continues to spread.
“The virus is out of control in most of the United States,” Dr. Troisi said. “We are a hotspot for the world. 4 percent of the world’s population, 25 percent of the cases...not doing so great.”