White house advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is confirming what many people have suspected for some time – two masks are indeed better than one – particularly since more virulent strains of COVID-19 have emerged across the globe.
"So 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," Fauci told TODAY. "That's the reason why you see people either double masking or doing a version of an N95."
But not all masks are equal. And it’s hard enough to get people to wear one mask, much less two.
“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. Catherine Troisi, an epidemiologist at (UTHealth) School of Public Health told KHOU 11. "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.”
Double-masking started buzzing when people saw Amanda Gorman and Pete Buttigieg at Biden’s inauguration sporting two masks.
Despite the seemingly newness of double-masking, researchers say it’s actually key in helping to limit the transmission COVID-19.
“It has been backed up by research that two masks are, in fact, better than one,” CBS Denver’s medical director Dr. Dave Hnida told CBSN Denver. “Specifically, what we’re saying is that two masks may actually equal the protection you would get from N-95 masks, which is considered the best mask there is short of a complete respirator-type unit.”
According to Atlanta Journal Constitution, Hnida says wearing two masks creates “an obstacle course for the viral particle to make its way from the air into your nose and throat and then into your lungs.”