Residents in the Southland and across the country have been urged for almost a year to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID- 19, but federal health authorities today said people should consider wearing two.
According to CDC's findings, wearing two masks reduces the chances of persons exchanging viral particles between them by 95 percent.
The CDC now says wearing two masks significantly protects you from coronavirus.
Why are scientists asking you to wear two masks?
Marcellino said the current recommendation at Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health was that masks should have at least two layers, completely cover one's nose and mouth and fit snugly on one's nose and the side of the face.
Health officials also added recently discovered variants of the virus likely was a factor in releasing the new suggestion to double mask.
The CDC also recommends tying knots on the ear loops of medical masks to provide more protection by pulling the mask closer to the face.
"A proper study on the efficacy of masks needs to be a randomized controlled trial involving human beings in their normal settings - such as the Danish mask study that showed there is no evidence that masks do anything to prevent COVID-19 - and not mannequins in a laboratory", he continued. The disposable medical procedure masks are not created to fit tightly, the guidance says, so wearing more than one will not improve the fit.
Overall, if two people are both wearing double masks, they reduce their possible exposure to aerosols by more than 96%.
Of course, if someone wants to wear two masks, that will provide extra protection as long as the masks fit correctly, Marcellino said. According to the CDC's website, a KN95 mask is a type of filtering face mask that is often made in China and is similar to the N95 masks commonly used in the United States.
Two new variants of COVID-19 have been detected in Hawai'i to date, including the B117 variant, which has been proven to be up to 60% more contagious than the initial strain. "And now these variants are circulating... whatever we can do to improve the fit of a mask to make it work better, the faster we can end this pandemic".