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February 8, 2021: Important Face Covering Information

Recent stories suggesting that wearing more than one mask is better are becoming widespread. While double, or even triple masking may seem like a good idea there are reasons it may not be better.

First, everyone must keep in mind that social distancing remains the priority to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

Here are some important considerations regarding wearing more than one mask:

  • More than one mask may not fit as well as one.
  • Masks can slip or shift while wearing and can interfere with each other.
  • Air takes the path of least resistance. The more layers that you are breathing through, the more resistance there is to breathing. If there is any leakage around the mask or masks when you inhale, air will travel to your mouth and nose more easily where the leakage occurs.

The CDC is actively looking at the issue of wearing more than one mask. Until scientific data from their study becomes available, a general recommendation cannot be made. More data will be forthcoming from the CDC with regard to the value of double masking. If that scientific data indicates that wearing more than one mask is better or not, then you will see a recommendation made by the CDC.

Acceptable mask types

  • Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
  • Completely cover your nose and mouth
  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps

Mask types to avoid

  • Masks that do not fit properly (too loose or with large gaps)
  • Masks made from loosely woven fabric, such as fabrics that let light pass through
  • Masks with one layer
  • Masks with exhalation valves or vents
  • Neck gaiters, bandanas, scarves, or ski masks worn as a mask
  • Masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as plastic or leather)

Wear your mask correctly

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on your mask
  • Put the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face, slipping the loops over your ears or tying the strings behind your head
  • If you have to continually adjust your mask, it doesn’t fit properly, you might need to find a different mask type or brand
  • Position eyewear after the mask is securely in place
  • Make sure you can breathe easily

A word about public transportation

Traveling on public transportation leads interstate and international spread of COVID-19 by bringing people in close contact (less than 6 feet) with others, often for prolonged periods, and exposing them to frequently touched surfaces.

CDC has issued an order that requires face masks to be worn by all travelers while on public transportation (which includes all passengers and all operators). People must wear masks that completely cover both the mouth and nose while awaiting, boarding, disembarking, or traveling on airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares as they are traveling into, within, or out of the United States and U.S. territories. People must also wear masks while at transportation hubs (e.g., airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations, seaports) and other locations where people board public transportation in the United States and U.S. territories.

Remember: Masks can protect everyone. 

Please wear a mask!