The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made new recommendations to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus, including the more contagious strains.
On Wednesday, the CDC released a new report detailing that wearing tight-fitting surgical masks or doubling masks may drastically reduce COVID-19 transmission.
Scientists discovered that if two people wear surgical masks with knots, close to the face–or both wear a cloth mask over a surgical mask–the exposure to the virus is reduced by over 95%.
“The data in this report underscore the finding that good fit can increase overall mask efficiency,” the authors wrote. “Multiple simple ways to improve fit have been demonstrated to be effective.”
During a “simulated breathing experiment,” the study also found that surgical masks block 42% of COVID-19 particulates for the person who wears it, and cloth masks block 44% of the particulates. The report further elaborated that 83% of COVID-19 particles are thwarted when a wearer puts on a cloth mask over a surgical mask, adding increased protection.
Since November, coronavirus deaths have increased in the United States, and although they are declining, the numbers are still high. Officials also warned that the variant from the U.K. could become the dominant strain in America by March. These new findings come amid rising concerns about the three new, highly-contagious variants that were first identified in South Africa, Brazil, and the U.K. All three have now been actively reported within the United States.
According to APM Research Lab, “Indigenous and Black Americans continue to suffer the highest actual rates of loss, followed closely by Pacific Islanders.”
Perhaps by wearing double masks, the virus’ infection and death rate will decrease for all—especially Black Americans.