Dr. Fauci Says the CDC May Make This Major Mask Change Soon

Fauci says it's "common sense" to implement this change to masking guidance to keep COVID from spreading.

While wearing a mask when leaving the house has become a standard part of everyday life for most people at this point, with new strains of COVID popping up across the U.S., many health experts are beginning to question whether or not wearing a standard cloth mask alone does enough to protect against the virus. According to Anthony Fauci, MD, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be on the verge of making a major change to its masking recommendations. Read on to discover what you may need to do with your mask to protect yourself going forward. And for insight into how the virus is spreading, Dr. Fauci Just Issued This New Chilling Warning About COVID.

In a Feb. 2 interview with The Washington Post, Fauci said the CDC may update their guidance in favor of double-masking. "The CDC is looking at doing a study of seeing whether or not two masks might be better than one. It makes common sense," said Fauci.

However, he explained that there's good reason as to why the CDC hasn't yet officially made the recommendation. "It's a science-based organization, the CDC; they make recommendations based on data and science, and that's the reason they're going to look at that particular issue," he explained.

While the official change to the CDC's guidance has not been finalized yet, Fauci admitted that he's already double-masking in his daily life. "If one mask serves as a physical barrier, if you put two on—if you're looking for enhancing the physical barrier—it makes common sense that it certainly can't hurt and might help," he said.

Double-masking isn't the only way to make your COVID protection stronger, however; read on to discover what else experts say you should be doing with your face covering to reduce your risk of catching the virus. And if you want to know how your area has been affected by the pandemic, This Is How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.

1
Wear a mask with at least two layers.

young woman with brown hair putting on cloth face mask
Shutterstock/Logra

Just because you're wearing a mask doesn't mean you're necessarily getting adequate protection against COVID. According to the CDC's current recommendations, if you're wearing a single mask, it should have at least two layers to prevent potentially infected respiratory droplets from escaping. The CDC also cautions against wearing masks with vents, which can allow contaminated droplets to spread and infect others. And for more masks to avoid, find out why The CDC Warns Against Using These 6 Face Masks.

2
Completely cover your mouth and nose without gaps.

middle-aged man outdoors in pink shirt wearing surgical mask
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There's a major difference between wearing your mask and wearing it properly. The CDC's current guidance suggests wearing your mask in a manner that snugly covers your mouth and nose completely without any gapping. And for more advice on staying safe, know that This Is Where You're Most Likely to Catch COVID, New Study Says.

3
Wear outdoor gear over your mask.

Close-up portrait of a skier in a mask and helmet with a closed face against a background of snow-capped mountains and blue sky
Shutterstock/yanik88

While that scarf may be good at keeping out the winter chill, it's not an effective means of keeping you safe from COVID. If you want to ensure that you're adequately protected, the CDC recommends wearing winter clothing, including ski masks and scarves, over your mask instead of using them as a replacement for a mask. Similarly, the CDC suggests that anyone wearing a neck gaiter do so with the fabric doubled over to ensure that respiratory droplets can't escape. And for the latest COVID news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

4
Wash your mask at least once a day.

white hand putting three cloth face masks into washing machine
Shutterstock

If your mask isn't clean, you could be inadvertently contaminating surfaces or ingesting infected droplets while wearing it. In order to mitigate the risk of contamination, the CDC recommends that people wash their mask at least once a day, and ideally, whenever it gets dirty. They also caution against reusing disposable masks, like surgical masks. And for more mask advice, check out This One Type of Face Mask Is"Unacceptable," Warns the Mayo Clinic.

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