caucasian young woman with disposable face mask. Protection versus viruses and infection. Studio portrait, concept with white background. Woman showing thumb up.

Healthcare professionals and infection preventionists have been touting face masks as one of the best tools against preventing the spread of COVID-19 for months. Now, these professionals say masks would be an even better protection against COVID-19 if they are worn two at a time.

Linsey Marr, a virus transmission expert and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, is one of the people who supports the use of two masks, according to a story written by AARP. Marr told the organization that the extra mask helps because it’s yet another obstacle that infected particles must overcome.

If feasible, commercial cleaning companies, facility managers and jan/san distributors might want to consider providing their employees with double the face masks. However, before the masks are handed out, consider what types are being provided. For example, Marr suggested people wear a disposable face mask under a tightly-fitting cloth mask. That combination of the two, she reasoned, would theoretically block around 90 percent of the infectious particles.  

The reevaluation of mask wearing suggestions being given to the public comes at a time where a new COVID strain that some say is easier to transmit than COVID-19 has been found in more than 20 U.S. states, reports New York Magazine. In addition to the U.S., more than 30 countries have reported the presence of the new strain, which is called B.1.1.7.