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This Mask Hack Can Help Prevent COVID

This tool can increase your mask's ability to block virus particles.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Woman wearing cloth mask or face mask in her apartment

Over the last year, masks have been an essential tool in the global battle against COVID-19. Health experts and scientists have continued to study the efficacy of various masks and the way in which they are worn in preventing the spread of the highly infectious virus. During a media briefing with the Infectious Diseases Society of America, John Brooks, MD, chief medical officer of the CDC's COVID-19 Response, revealed that one simple mask hack can significantly prevent the spread of the virus from one person to another. Read on to find out what it is—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Fitters Can Add More Protection to Your Mask

Dr. Brooks revealed that mask fitters—small accessories that cinch a cloth or medical mask into place that can be custom ordered or purchased online—are scientifically proven to be just as efficient in virus protection as N95 respirators. 

"Fitters have been scientifically demonstrated to improve filtration performance by as much as 90% or more," he revealed. "The more choices we can offer people, the more likely they are to find something that suits them and that they'll adopt."

He also confirmed that double masking—layering one mask on top of another—could also be just as effective. "Double masking has been recently proposed as one means of improving the filtration efficiency of medical or cloth masks," he said. "It's thought that this specific combination of a cloth and a medical mask could block over 90% or more of those respiratory droplets and particles." However, he did offer a disclaimer that the CDC is not endorsing double masking quite yet. "We don't recommend for or against double masking. We want to put out all the options that are available to people." 

Ultimately, "Any mask is better than no mask," he said. "Regardless of what we use, it's critical that as many of us as possible mask up."

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

How to Stay Healthy During This Pandemic

Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask (or two, or perhaps one with a filter), social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.