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4 Things To Know About Wearing Double Face Masks So You Do It Correctly

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham stated that wearing double face masks is recommended but not required.

Cover image via Times Of India & CDC

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With the number of new COVID-19 cases rising and multiple variants spreading, the Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah advises Malaysians to double-mask

The health director-general said that wearing double face masks is 95% effective in preventing infections.

Noor Hisham added that wearing double face masks is encouraged when in crowded public spaces or high-risk areas. However, it is just an advisory, not a requirement.

According to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, there are several methods on how you can wear your face mask more effectively.

The CDC guidelines highlighted several important points regarding double-masking, including why and how you should do it.

Here are the things you need to know about double-masking:

1. Why should you wear double face masks?

You should double-mask for two reasons — it helps improve the fit of the mask on your face and enhances filtration of droplets from the air.

By putting on another mask on top of the first layer of mask, this makes sure your first mask is completely fitted on your face.

The outer mask will press the inner mask closer to your face.

This helps to reduce the amount of air that leaks around the edges of the mask.

Image used for illustration purposes only.

Image via AFP/The Straits Times

2. How to double-mask?

When wearing double face masks, it is recommended to pair a surgical mask and a cloth mask.

The surgical mask should be worn as the inner layer, followed by the cloth mask as the second layer.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Rogelio V. Solis/The Hindustan Times

3. What kind of masks should you use when you double-mask?

According to the study conducted by the CDC, it is recommended not to combine two surgical masks when double-masking.

Surgical masks are not designed to fit tightly. Therefore, wearing a second surgical mask on top of the first layer will not improve the fit of the mask on your face.

It is not recommended to combine two cloth masks either.

4. Should you still double-mask when you wear an N95 mask?

The N95 face masks are known to be the most effective in terms of fit and filtration. It can seal the face and filter 95% of droplets and particles through the material.

Hence, it's not recommended to double-mask with an N95 face mask.

Remember to limit your movement and keep practising physical distancing. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:

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