Urgent care patients and staff members who wear a loose-fitting mask are putting themselves and those around them at unnecessarily higher risk for COVID-19 infection, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the CDC now specifically states that a tight-fitting mask provides more protection than a loose mask, and that doubling up on masks is advisable—especially now that new, more contagious strains are making the rounds. If two people are both wearing tightly fitting surgical masks or both are wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask, exposure to viral particles between them is reduced by more than 95%. Right now, the CDC estimates that 1% to 4% of COVID-19 cases in the United States are caused the highly contagious United Kingdom variant of the virus alone. Given that there are still “anti-maskers” running around, bear in mind when patients ask that the agency also has reiterated that wearing any mask at all reduces risk than wearing no mask at all.
CDC: Two Really Is Better Than One When It Comes to Masking Up