SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — As California eases restrictions to allow more businesses to reopen, doctors want to remind everyone to keep their guard up.
Health officials are recommending people wear two masks instead of one to protect against the new variants that are highly transmissible.
The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant is expected to a superspreader, people need to up their mask game with better filtration, add two or three layer masks and have properly fit mask.
“Now the emergence of these new variants, it makes it so important to up our game when it comes to mask wearing,” said Dr. Jon LaPook, CBS Chief Medical Correspondent.
N95 masks are the gold standard but not only are they hard to find they need to be reserved for healthcare workers.
To best MacGyver your mask game start with filtration.
If you have a pocket inside your mask over the mouth area, you can buy disposable filters on Amazon for a few dollars. Just remember to replace them after each use.
There’s a lot of buzz around double masking and it became quite the fashion statement at the inauguration.
“If you have a physical covering with one layer, you add another layer on it, it just makes common sense that it likely will be more effective,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease expert at the NIH and President Biden’s Chief Medical advisor.
Every layer on the mask is like an obstacle course for air particles.
“If you have a layer that is 50 percent effective blocking particles, if you layer two of those on top of each other now you've blocked 75 percent of them,” said Linsey Marr, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech.
Wearing a third layer can block up to 90 percent of particles providing a near N95 protection but could make it hard to breath.
KF94 masks, stands for Korean Filter at 94 percent efficiency, can add protection and are available online just beware of fakes.
The most important protection is making sure you have a good fit around your face.
If your glasses fog up or you can feel air leak out of your mask as you exhale you need a better grip.
“We want to make sure the mask is properly down to your nose, down to your chin with no visible gaps,” Christopher Sulmonte John Hopkins Bio-Containment Unit.
To keep your mask snug you, you can use a hair clip or sliders that adjust over your ear loop.
If your mask does not have a bendable fit around your nose you can also buy a nose clip.
More layers mean more protection. Health officials recommend that double masking is ideal for high risk situations like traveling, public transportation, or grocery shopping.
In addition to wearing a masks, avoid large gatherings, keep a 6-foot physical distance and wash your hands.