The CDC released new data Wednesday on how to improve mask fit that reduces a person’s exposure to the virus by as much as 96%. It comes down to reducing gaps, by double masking, nose wires, and knotting ear loops and tucking in the sides.
The CDC study looked at the impact wearing two masks had on reducing exposure to aerosols, or droplets in the air. They looked at the difference between wearing a three-layer cotton cloth mask or three-layer medical procedure mask alone, and then the effectiveness of wearing the cloth mask over the medical procedure mask.
They found the better fit, and reduced gaps, achieved by wearing the two mask types, specifically a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, greatly reduced a wearer’s exposure.
The cloth mask alone blocked about 44% of aerosols in the study, the medical procedure mask blocked about 42%. The two of them worn together blocked about 92% of the simulated cough particles, and reduced a wearer's exposure by about 83%.
Overall, if two people are both wearing double masks, they reduce their possible exposure to aerosols by more than 96%.
How many face masks are you wearing? Voting has closed for this survey:
- 63% or 329 voted one
- 12% or 65 voted two
- 25% or 132 voted none
Editor's note: This survey is not based on scientific, representative samples and is solely for KOAA purposes.