Local health expert weighs in on double mask issue

Coronavirus

Wearing another mask is a hard sell with some people

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (Wytv) – The hot new question related to COVID-19 is whether you should wear two masks. Is two actually better than one? The question is related to comments, and subsequent firestorm, by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Most people wear a mask. They are still required in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Now, Dr. Fauci suggests wearing two. He said this week that it ” makes common sense that it likely would be more effective.”

The Centers for Disease Control has not recommended double masking.

“I haven’t found anything yet about having two masks but just the quality of the masks that we use really should be up to CDC standard,” said Dr. Jim Kravec, chief medical officer for Mercy Health Youngstown.

That means your mask and even gators should have two layers to be most effective. It’s just like dressing for the cold or putting on a second band-aid. More layers, more protection.

Wearing another mask is a hard sell with some people.

“It is a challenge to breathe with one let alone two masks. You might be getting into a little bit of difficulty breathing if you did,” said Youngstown resident Travis Pownell.

Jab Jonez, of Warren, agreed that double masking would be difficult.

“I’m not sure if you can tell, I have problems with my glasses fogging up with one mask let alone two,” he said.

Kravec recommends following the first layer of protection and wearing masks correctly, covering your nose and face snuggly. That increases effectiveness.

Medical quality masks have two layers. Having that second layer, not necessarily a second mask, is what counts.

“It may not be necessary depending if the mask that you’re wearing already has two layers or is a medical quality mask. You may need that, but it shouldn’t hurt. As long you are able to function wearing that second mask,” Kravec said.

The hardest thing with wearing two masks is having strong ears to support them. The former director of the CDC does recommend upgrading from a cloth mask to a surgical mask. He feels better masks may help reduce risk from more-contagious strains.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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