CDC double mask recommendation: Doctor shows how to wear 2 masks, reduce air leakage

CDC study says wearing two masks or tightening one can block 95% of particles coming in or out
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Masks work - and they work even better if worn properly or doubled up. A new CDC study says wearing two masks or tightening one can slow the spread of COVID and block 95% of the particles coming in or out.

"The study by the CDC is interesting because it's one of the first that applies good hard science to understanding masks," said Dr. Robert Citronberg, an infectious disease doctor at Advocate Aurora Health.

WATCH: Doctor demonstrates how to wear 2 masks properly

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Dr. Robert Citronberg of Advocate Aurora Health demonstrates how to properly layer a cloth mask with a surgical mask and reduce air leakage.

The CDC suggests wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask or tightening the ear loops on a single surgical mask for a snug fit. The point is not to feel air coming out of the sides.

"This is especially useful for people with smaller faces because the standard size masks are almost too big for people with smaller faces," Citronberg said.

SEE ALSO | CDC study finds 2 masks are better than 1 vs. COVID-19

Both methods are suggestions only. The CDC is not changing its mask guidelines.

Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said she plans to review the CDC study before making decisions on mask changes.
"The most important thing by far is that people actually wear the masks and do the distancing, wash hands," Dr. Arwady said.

SEE ALSO | Illinois COVID vaccine map shows how many residents vaccinated by county

Guidance on masks has evolved. At the beginning of the pandemic, masks were not recommended for the masses.

WATCH: Local doctor discusses latest CDC guidance

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A local doctor discussed the latest CDC guidance on masks Thursday.

"A year ago, we really underestimated the amount of transmission that occurs with people without symptoms," Dr. Citronberg said. "We thought, just isolate people with symptoms and don't worry about everyone else."

Masks came into play as the virus spread through asymptomatic people. And as vaccination rates rise, doctors say masks must still be worn because for now, it is not known if vaccines prevent the transmission of the disease.

Although, that could change in the future as more is learned about the vaccines.
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