TOLEDO, Ohio — By now, you've likely heard a viral claim that you should be wearing two masks instead of one. But will that better protect you from COVID or any of the new variants?
We turned to three sources to help get the answer: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); ProMedica Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety, Dr. Brian Kaminski; and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"There's no recommendation, however, there's many people who take the common sense approach," Fauci said. "If you're talking about a physical barrier, and as the CDC recommends you want at least two layers within the mask as a physical barrier, and you feel maybe more of a physical barrier would be better. There's nothing wrong with people wearing two masks."
So there's nothing wrong with the idea but is it actually safer? The CDC hasn't said one way or another because there isn't much data. But the CDC does recommend masks with two or more layers.
Dr. Kaminski agreed, saying it's common sense.
"We definitely want people to wear a mask that at least has multiple layers to it," Kaminski said. "If you don't have a multiple-layered mask, then two masks might actually make sense, so long as it isn't too obstructive and you can still do those things you need to do in your life."
All in all, experts agree wearing two masks is a logical approach. But it's unclear if double-masking is actually safer because there isn't much data at this point.