Is wearing two masks more effective?


Manasa Krishnan

To better protect yourself and others from COVID-19, there are various methods you can practice daily.

Kennedy Mayo, Senior Staff Writer

With hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases skyrocketing, health experts are questioning if people should wear two masks instead of one.

COVID-19 can spread through respiratory droplets that contain the virus, everyday actions such as coughing, sneezing, and talking. Health experts are advising people to start using both N95 and surgical masks; these two masks are the most effective to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Experts are also saying that even though both masks are effective individually, adding a second one may add more protection.

“We need people to start wearing them and then cases would go down, but if double masks do happen they would probably help more realistically,” said Aanya Vipani (’21).

“The more layers, the better,” said Tania Elliot M.D. an immunologist and allergist at NYU Langone Health.

Instead of wearing two masks, the CDC also recommends that the public wears certain masks that contain at least two layers of washable fabric. 

Even Anthony S. Fauci says that two layers “just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective.”

But one thing that Anthony Fauci warns is that the N95 mask is not the most comfortable and may dissuade the consistent use of the general public. 

“It makes it hard to breathe through two masks because it more blockage on your nose which makes it uncomfortable,” said Sai Birla (’21). 

There is no concrete evidence that double masking works but wearing two masks may prevent COVID-19 and save lives. Many health experts are saying that If the public is using an N95 mask double masking is not necessary; if the public chooses to wear cloth masks, double masking is recommended.