Two masks or a tight-fit one reduces virus spread: CDC

The CDC released new guidance Wednesday on mask wearing, telling Americans two masks are better than one and if you only wear one, make sure it has a tight fit.

Researchers at the CDC in January conducted experiments to see how well wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask, and knotting the ear loops of a surgical mask and then tucking the excess material close to the face, protects against COVID-19.

They found that both these methods helped reduce the exposure to potentially infected aerosols by more than 90% in laboratory simulations.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky: “New data released from CDC today underscore the importance of wearing a mask correctly and making sure it fits closely and snuggly over your nose and mouth.”

Nationwide, the daily tallies of new cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 have been dropping steadily in recent weeks.

But public health experts fear that gatherings for Super Bowl celebrations on Sunday, as well as the arrival of new, highly contagious variants of the virus may lead to another surge in cases before most are vaccinated, telling Americans to continue to rely on masks and two if possible as the first line of defense.

Video Transcript

- The CDC released new guidance Wednesday on mask wearing, telling Americans two masks are better than one, and if you only wear one, make sure it has a tight fit. Researchers at the CDC in January conducted experiments to see how well wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask and knotting the ear loops of a surgical mask and then tucking the excess material close to the face protects against COVID-19.

They found that both of these methods helped reduce their exposure to potentially infected aerosols by more than 90% in laboratory simulations. CDC director Rochelle Walensky.

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: New data released from CDC today underscore the importance of wearing a mask correctly, and making sure it fits closely and snugly over your nose and mouth.

- Nationwide, the daily tallies of new cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 have been dropping steadily in recent weeks, but public health experts fear that gatherings for Super Bowl celebrations on Sunday as well as the arrival of new highly-contagious variants of the virus may lead to another surge in cases before most are vaccinated, telling Americans to continue to rely on masks and two, if possible, as the first line of defense.