UNITED STATES—On February 13, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated information on wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Scientists shared opinions on whether a mask or wearing two masks could help protect from the virus.
The CDC announced specific guidelines on how to properly wear a mask on their website including wearing it snugly on the face.
When wearing a cloth mask, layer a second disposable mask beneath it. There are also braces one may purchase to hold the mask snugly to the face. Only wear one KN95 mask at a time. Do not combine the KN95 mask with any other mask.
While the CDC, the World Health Organization and some Democrats in Congress are attempting to pass more mask mandates, other experts in the field have indicated a mask may not be necessary.
The Mayo Clinic indicates on its site that masks can be beneficial if used with other safeguards such as hand washing.
The John Hopkins website agrees that it is important to wear a mask, but disagrees with wearing a second mask.
“No, you do not need to wear double masks or an N95 respirator in public settings to protect yourself against the new coronavirus variants,” the John Hopkins website states.
According to John Hopkins, the same infection prevention measures and types of personal protective equipment recommended for the main “wild type” of SARS-CoV-2 work for the variants too.
The NIH stresses the importance of hand washing and covering your mouth if coughing or sneezing. NIH does not suggest wearing a mask unless you have the coronavirus.
According to The Truth:
“A study from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is warning the public against using N95 face masks that have built-in exhalation valves, as these allow unfiltered air to escape. This makes these kinds of masks useless at preventing the wearer of the mask from spreading the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) to others.”
The NIST study provided more information on surgical masks noting:
“Last year, a meta-analysis of six randomized controlled trials involving 9,171 patients demonstrated that there were no statistically significant differences in preventing influenza or viral infections using N95 respirators and surgical masks. In fact, there’s even a warning on the box that expressly states “THIS PRODUCT WILL NOT PROVIDE ANY PROTECTION AGAINST COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) OR OTHER VIRUSES OR CONTAMINANTS.”
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said that Americans should not be buying or wearing masks. “It actually does not help. It’s not been proven to be effective in preventing [the] spread of coronavirus amongst the general public.”
In a television interview from March 2020, the nation’s leading health official explained that people who are not medical professionals may actually increase their risk of spreading the virus by wearing a mask.