Together we can stop the spread of COVID-19. Wear face masks, it not only protects you, but it also protects others too!
COVID-19 is a serious respiratory disease and the infection is known to spread through secretions of air droplets when an infected person sneezes, coughs or speaks. Thus, wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been highlighted since the beginning of the pandemic, in December 2019.
With the rise of the second wave of COVID-19 in India and with the virus mutating into newer strains, the disease is now highly infectious and is spreading faster than ever.
In light of this, double masking, a relatively new concept, is proving to be an effective way to block micro-particles and keep you safe.
According to a recent study by the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), wearing a surgical mask under a cloth mask (double masking) can block 85.4% of the cough particles and is highly recommended to curb the spread of the infection, which is increasing even in indoor settings.
Read further to understand how double masking is done and what are some tips to follow while practising double masking.
How to Double Mask The Right Way
Double masking is the method of using two masks, a three-ply medical/surgical mask covered by a three-ply cotton cloth mask.
This technique has currently proven to prevent any leakage of respiratory secretions or droplets. Wearing two masks will protect your face better by creating a stronger barrier against SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for causing COVID-19.
Double masking is a simple process that involves the following:
Double Masking: Dos and Don’ts
Wear the surgical mask first and then the cloth mask on top of it. A combination of any other masks is not yet tested and hence, not recommended.
Ensure that the cloth mask pushes the edges of the surgical mask towards your face, making it fit tightly.
Choose a high-quality, surgical mask with a nose wire. Once you wear the surgical mask, push the nose wire for a snug fit.
Avoid wearing two surgical masks together at the same time. This will not help as it will not provide you with a tight fit.
Discard all visibly soiled or damaged masks. Do not use surgical masks if they are wet or appear dirty. Surgical masks are one-time, disposable masks and are recommended for not more than 6-8 hours of use.
Remember, that wearing both the masks appropriately will determine how much of your exposure to the virus is reduced.
Ensure to practice double masking while stepping outside for extra protection. If you are the primary caregiver of an infected COVID-19 patient at home, then it is strongly recommended to follow double masking.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021. COVID-19 and Your Health. [online] Available at: <https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/effective-masks.html> [Accessed 13 May 2021].
2. Brooks, J., Beezhold, D., Noti, J., Coyle, J., Derk, R., Blachere, F. and Lindsley, W., 2021. Maximizing Fit for Cloth and Medical Procedure Masks to Improve Performance and Reduce SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Exposure, 2021.
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