TAMPA — There’s been a lot of talk about double masking recently. That’s because of the new COVID-19 strains that researchers say are much more contagious.
“We think that’s because they replicate faster meaning they’re more viral particles in an individual and they can gain access to our cells a little more readily,” said Dr. Marissa Levine, Professor of Public Health Practice at the University of South Florida.
Doctors say the questions we now have to ask are, what do we do to protect ourselves from these new variants, and are our traditional measures enough?
“My first point is, you need to wear a mask in the first place, because going from no mask to some mask is probably the biggest difference that you can make,” said Levine.
Right now, health experts are trying to figure out if we should up our mask game and wear two instead of one.
“So like everything else, this is evolving. We’re learning as we go,” said Levine.
Doctors say neither the CDC or the World Health Organization have changed their mask guidance, so from an official standpoint they say one mask is still sufficient for now.
“So cloth masks, generally more tightly woven cloth masks, two or three layers is best, single layer is not as good. But again, some mask is better than none,” said Levine.
Whether we should wear more than one mask or one that offers more protection is being debated right now.
At this point, doctors tell us they’re still unsure if we need something more for these COVID-19 variants.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases experts, recently said wearing two masks could be helpful. Experts say if people do choose to do that, they need to make sure they can still breathe.
“Fine, just be careful because obviously the more covering you have on the mask, the more difficulties you can get into. So I would stick with a single mask that has multiple layers,” said Levine.