Should You Double Mask in the Workplace?

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Written by SciTechNerds

February 11, 2021

On February 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new masking guidance to help cut back the spread of Covid-19. Common masking has already been extensively advisable by public health authorities globally, together with the World Health Organization (WHO). So if one masks is good, is 2 better?

The CDC carried out experiments to find methods of improving the fit of  non-respirator masks comparable to material masks, surgical masks, and different non N-95 varieties, to maximize their effectiveness. The finding: if you want to reduce exposure, fit a material mask over a medical procedure mask (surgical mask) which according to lab assessments by the CDC, will help lower exposure to potentially infectious aerosols by as much as 95 percent.

Sporting a single mask is not efficient if air is going around it and not through it, says Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease doctor at Northwell Health. But when you solely have a surgical mask, you may make it more effective by knotting the ear loops and then tucking in and flattening the additional materials near the face to get a tighter fit.

Both methods considerably cut back your exposure to the aerosol droplets that cause Covid-19. Three is just not better than two, although. Dr. Hirsch additionally notes that you simply should not go overboard and put on more than two masks at a time. If the air resistance through the mask becomes too great it is more possible you may lose the tight fit across the masks, which is essential.

Of course, you also don’t want the mask to be uncomfortable. “The most important mask is the one you’re going to wear all the time when you’re in high risk situations,” says Dr. Bob Bollinger, a professor of infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and inventor of Emocha Health, a medtech company that helps patients adhere to medication. “There’s no point in wearing masks if you’re not going to use them consistently.”

Remember that masks are solely one part of a much bigger picture. Whereas masks are nice, they are not sufficient. Neither is a vaccine or social distancing, taken separately. “All the layers of protection that we have are imperfect,” says Dr. Hirsch. “It’s all hands on deck and everything that we can do to look at different interventions and to try to make each intervention more effective can add up to a cumulative power to eliminate this epidemic.”

An unsafe office can hinder any firm’s skill to function at most output. But as of February 1, solely 14 states and the District of Columbia have common masks mandates. With no state mandate there’s much more of a burden on enterprise organizations to have their very own necessary masks insurance policies. However even with a state mandate, employers ought to tackle the duty of training staff on the right use and effectiveness of carrying masks and preserve them updated on the right use and effectiveness of all PPE tools.

On a broader be aware, Dr. Christine Crawford, an epidemiologist who beforehand labored for the Epidemic Intelligence Service, a program of the CDC, says these newest tips, in addition to a new concentrate on tips for faculties, could mark a shift in how the CDC is working beneath the Biden administration. “This the beginning of them being empowered and resourced,” she says. “There’s a reason that the CDC has been the gold standard for disease control for years. Now they can do what they do.”

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