A woman wearing two face masks in public.
Healthy Living

Doubling Up: Should You Be Wearing Two Face Masks at Once?

Mar 15 2021

As variants of COVID-19 continue to circulate, the need to remain vigilant about wearing face masks, washing our hands and practicing social distancing continues.

But should you be taking the added step of wearing two masks at once? Some people are, and it’s becoming a trend. Find out what you need to know about doubling up and if it’s for you.

How face masks affect the spread of COVID-19

When you wear a face mask over your nose and mouth, the face-covering helps stop some of your respiratory droplets from escaping.

These are tiny bits of saliva or mucus that escape while you’re:

  • Coughing
  • Laughing
  • Shouting
  • Singing
  • Sneezing
  • Talking
  • Breathing

If you have COVID-19, the virus attaches itself to the droplets and can spread to other people around you. But if you’re wearing a mask, fewer droplets are able to escape and infect others.

Are two face masks better than one?

The purpose of wearing a face mask is to protect others from getting COVID-19 from you when you’re sick, but you also get protection as a mask wearer. Having a barrier between you and potential respiratory droplets from other people around you lowers your chance of breathing in contaminated particles.

So when it comes to wearing two face masks instead of one, it makes sense that more coverage means greater protection. It is becoming more common for people to wear surgical masks under cloth masks, for example. The surgical mask provides a higher level of protection, while the cloth mask provides a second barrier and serves an aesthetic purpose. Like a fashion accessory, only one that also doubles as a safety device.

Researchers say yes, two masks are better than one. And here’s why:

  • The surgical mask acts as a filter.
  • The cloth mask provides an additional layer of covering.
  • The cloth mask also helps keep a snug fit around your face.
  • Wearing two masks is more reliable in close conditions when social distancing is not possible, such as on airplanes, in some work environments and while using public transportation.

Masks and the new COVID-19 variants

Experts say that the new COVID-19 variants are a reason to continue wearing face masks, and doubling up on them is even better.

When someone is infected with a variant, they may have a higher amount of the virus in their mouth and nose. So, there’s more of a chance for these more dangerous variants to spread.

Keeping covered up will help slow the spread of these variants and keep more people safe. It will also give medical professionals more time to do the research and testing needed to get them under control.

Learn more about picking the type of face mask that is right for you.

Also, learn more about how to wear your face mask properly.

And finally, be sure to stay updated on what Bon Secours is doing related to COVID-19.

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I wear two masks...A child and adult.....the child mask fit tighter to my face and the adult is looser and for extra protection
March 16th, 2021 | 8:33am

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