New research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reemphasized the importance of well-fitting, multilayered masks in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Lab experiments showed wearing a tightly woven cloth mask over a surgical mask reduced the wearer’s exposure to potentially infectious aerosols by as much as 90%.
Here’s how to improve the fit of your mask to protect yourself and others.
KEEP IT SNUG
- Use a mask with a nose wire to minimize gaps between your face and the mask
- Knot the ear loops of the surgical mask and tuck in the excess material so the sides stay close to your face
- Use a mask with multiple layers or wear a surgical mask under another mask made of tightly woven cloth, such as cotton
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Don’t layer a KN95 with another mask, or double layer surgical masks
- Don’t use gaiters or bandannas made from loosely woven fabric
- Don’t wear a mask with vents, which allow your breath to escape and expose others
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention