Double masking can block up to 92.5% of particles

Posted at 7:15 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 19:17:22-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The CDC released a study Wednesday with research showing that layering a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask like a blue surgical mask can block up to 92.5 percent of potential infections particles from escaping.

"We know that coronavirus is spread through droplets that come from the mouth and nose. So, masking is important to prevent those droplets from coming out if you are sick and have the virus," University of Kentucky College of Public Health Dean Dr. Donna Arnett explained. "And so the concept of double masking is simply to add an extra layer to prevent those droplets from escaping."

She walked through two options: wearing two masks or wearing a mask with multiple layers.

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She said she wishes naysayers understood "masks are not a political statement."

"How many of us would want to go into surgery with a surgeon and anesthesiologist having no masks on?" Dr. Arnett asked. "It's a simple concept that germs spread through your mouth and nose if you're sick. And so, we've accepted that, as a normal practice for dozens of years. And so, if we translate that into just actual day-to-day life, now in the midst of coronavirus [when] we're having so many infections, it makes sense that we cover our mouth, cover our nose; get a good tight fit on that mask to prevent the disease from spreading."

For those who already had the virus or have received the vaccine but think they have immunity, Dr. Arnett explained there are layers to the COVID-19 virus.

"In most viral diseases once you have the disease you have immunity," Dr. Arnett said. "The problem is, coronavirus is a novel virus. We know there are new mutations emerging in the population. We also know that there's instances where people with the new mutations, like the new variant from the UK or South America--they're getting reinfected."

Dr. Arnett said she advises double masking wherever you cannot social distance, especially restaurants, bars and gyms.

She also challenged those who are skeptical to try a quick experiment: "Try to blow out a candle with your mask on...[see if] your mask is keeping you from exposing other people to viral particles if you may be sick."