Double-masking offers more protection from COVID-19, says CDC

Feb 10, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

You might already be wearing two masks, but science now backs it up: double-masking is the way to go.

New research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask, which is known as double masking, could reduce exposure to COVID-19. According to the CDC, exposure to COVID-19 was reduced by up to 96.4% when both an infected person and a noninfected person were fitted with double masks or knotted and tucked masks.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The research also found that knotting the ear loops of a surgical mask where they attach to the mask’s edges and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face could improve the fit of these masks.

The White House COVID-19 Response Team announced the findings during a press briefing on Wednesday.

President Joe Biden made mask-wearing a priority during the early days of his presidency, signing an executive order that made wearing a mask mandatory while traveling domestically and while on federal property. The White House also launched a “100 Days Masking Challenge.” As of early February, just 14 states and Washington, D.C. had universal masking mandates.

Related: Mask mandate, mandatory quarantine: What Biden’s newest executive order means for you

“Research has demonstrated that COVID-19 infections and deaths have decreased when policies that require everyone to wear a mask have been implemented,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “With cases, hospitalizations and deaths still very high, now is not the time to roll back mask requirements.”

The CDC is also updating its guidelines on how to improve mask fit. The new guidelines will suggest wearing a mask with a moldable nose wire, knotting the ear loops on your mask or wearing a cloth mask over a disposable mask.

Related: Traveling during the pandemic? It might be time to upgrade your mask

Dr. Elaine Hanh Le, the chief medical officer for Healthline, (which is also owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures) spoke to TPG’s editor-at-large, Zach Honig, last month about upgrading your mask.

“For the best fit, make sure that the mask fits comfortably but snugly over the nose, cheeks and chin without any gaps,” she said. “Regardless of whether the straps go over the head or around the ears as loops, the main consideration is whether you’d be able to keep the mask on consistently for an extended period of time.”

So far, just over 10 million Americans have received both vaccine doses, while deaths have reached 470,000. And as new variants of the novel coronavirus emerge, it’s never been more important to think about your mask strategy.

Photo by Viktor Gladkov/Shutterstock

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.