VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) -The CDC recently released new recommendations on face coverings.
One is to double mask.
“If you double mask, they recommend you wear a cloth mask with multiple layers which means you could wear two cloth masks or you wear the regular paper mask with the cloth mask over that to help seal down the paper mask,” said Dr. Brian Dawson, chief medical officer at South Georgia Medical Center.
Dawson says recent CDC data shows significant benefits of double masking.
He said it reduces the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 or giving it to others.
According to the CDC report, during laboratory testing with simulated coughs and breathing, they tested how well different masks worked to block aerosol particles.
They compared no mask, a cloth mask and a surgical mask.
As well as double masking, wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask and tying knots on the ear loops of surgical masks.
Data shows both methods, double masking and tying knots on a surgical mask produced improved protection against transmission and exposure.
They do not recommend double-masking on disposable masks or layering another mask on top of an N-95 mask.
“This mask, it’s difficult for a lot of people and we see it for a lot of our patients that have breathing problems. Some of them, just their facial structure is difficult, and what I see is that they tend to let it ride down, so their nose hangs outside the mask. Or sometimes, they wear it all the way down their chin,” said Dawson.
Dawson said this common action defeats the purpose.
If the mask doesn’t cover your airways, it won’t protect you or others from what you’re breathing out.
For those who have their masks hanging on the rearview mirror, Dawson said if the mask is clean and hasn’t been wet or contaminated in any way, it may be reusable.
“In my line of work when I’m here in the hospital, I’ll probably wear the mask from eight to 12 hours a day, given the circumstance of what we are dealing with. Where if you only go out of your home maybe once a day for 30 minutes and you’re exposed in public for 30 minutes, then that mask will last you much longer,” said Dawson.
Dawson said vaccine effectiveness towards transmission is inconclusive and is being studied.
If you got your vaccine, it’s important you don’t toss your masks out just yet.
“So, one of the questions we hear is, ‘once I get my vaccine, does that mean I don’t have to wear the mask anymore’. Well, the answer is for the time being, yes, for the time being, you do have to wear your mask,” said Dawson.