Some health experts suggest double-masking to stop spread of COVID-19 variants

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 12:39 PM CST
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(Gray News) - More experts are saying wearing two masks or masks with extra layers could be more effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and the new strains of the virus that are emerging.

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told TODAY on Monday he believes extra layers could lower the risk of an infected person spreading the virus to others because of the barriers.

“It just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” Fauci said.

A January Virginia Tech study also concluded with recommending a “three-layer mask consisting of outer layers of a flexible, tightly woven fabric and an inner layer consisting of a material designed to filter out particles.”

While the extra layers may prove to be more effective, infectious disease expert Dr. Steve Threlkeld at Baptist Memorial Healthcare in Memphis told WMC he believes a stronger emphasis needs to be placed on social distancing.

“What we do have in this country is enough room for anybody who wants to be six or ten feet apart from someone else to be six feet apart,” Threlkeld said. “I think social distancing always has been and remains the key.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the variants originating from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, spread more easily and quickly than other variants. A British government preliminary analysis shows there may be an increase in the severity of the disease in the UK strain.

The CDC has yet to update its guidance on the variants to include double-masking, but it does continue to recommend wearing face coverings, practicing proper hand hygiene and social distancing.

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