Should we be double-masking as new, more contagious variants of COVID spread?

Coronavirus

CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — With new variants of COVID-19 now in Connecticut, some doctors recommend double-masking. But is it that much more protective?

Double-masking is the new recommendation, but isn’t it harder to hear somebody who is wearing two masks? And is it really another layer of protection if you don’t do it correctly? And when should you do it? How do you do it? What masks do you wear?

News 8 took those questions to the experts to get some answers.

“It is a little bit controversial how much extra protection you get from double-masking.”

Dr. Vicente Diaz of Yale Medicine

With the new strains of COVID-19 out there, there are more infectious. Doctors said double-masking might give you a little extra protection, especially in high-risk situations like indoors in tight quarters.

RELATED: Yale doctor explains how dangerous, more contagious COVID-19 variant strains are

News 8 spoke with shoppers who had varied feelings about the practice of double-masking:

“If I was in a large crowd, I would double-mask.”

“No I would not. It would be too much.”

“I would double-mask for sure. I would feel more protected.”

“Everyone is still wearing masks and social distancing, double-masking kind of seems silly.”

“I am definitely for it. I think it is another form of protection.”

Another form of protection, yes, but doctors said a cloth mask does not protect you but protects other people if you have it. So, if you choose to double-mask, doctors said you have to do it the right way.

Here is the correct way to wear a double-mask: The cloth mask over the N95. The N95 must fit tightly around the nose around the side of your face and that cloth mask must also fit tightly over the N95, so that way you have double protection.

But, Dr. Diaz said, “There might be some risk from not being able to breathe adequately enough. I think just getting a high-quality mask is probably sufficient.”

And with the new strains of COVID, Dr. Diaz, who specializes in ocular infectious disease, said protecting your eyes with goggles in high-risk areas is a good idea, as well.

“There is pretty good data that the eye is actually an entry point of infection.”

Something to keep in mind, whether you have a single mask or a double mask on, it’s the distance that is going to keep you safe; the more you social distance, stay outside, the better off you are.

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