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Headshot portrait of a young woman wearing a black protective face mask.

Source: Tempura / Getty

I’ve come a long way since this time last year when we weren’t even getting consistent, reliable information about the coronavirus from anywhere.

Remember there was quite a bit of debate, among health professionals, about whether or not masks were effective at all?

But times have changed just a bit. Today 468,000 Americans have died from the virus. (2.3 million worldwide). We have an administration that seems to care about the lives of the American people and the highest office in the land isn’t suppressing relevant health information from the country’s citizens.

Now that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is able to speak more openly and more freely, they are recommending a new change in our mask wearing.

According to CNN, new data from the CDC claims that wearing two masks at once can offer greater protection against the virus…a lot more.

Researchers found that wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedural mask (like the disposable blue ones) can block as much as 92.5% of the infectious particles from escaping.

Two masks create a tighter fit and also eliminate leakage of the droplets that leave our nose and mouths as we breathe and speak.

During a White House briefing, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “We continue to recommend that masks should have two or more layers, completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against your nose and the sides of your face.”

Surgical masks alone tend to leave gaps on the face, allowing air to escape. Cloth masks can help to better secure them in place.

The CDC also recommended knotting ear loop straps to ensure the fabric stays close to the face. Knotting can block 63% of particles that contain the virus from escaping. Unknotted masks block 42% of these same particles.

The study found that when there was an infected and uninfected source wearing double masks prevented 96.5% of infected particles from spreading.

While the CDC is not officially changing mask recommendations, they do want to encourage people that masks fit snugly and are worn properly over both the nose and mouth.

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