Dr. Fauci Says This Is When You'll Have to Wear a Mask Post-Pandemic

Masks may be part of our reality for the foreseeable future—but not the way we're wearing them now.

After nearly a year of wearing masks anytime you leave the house, it's understandable if you're ready to be rid of those face coverings once and for all. However, we may be wearing them for some time yet—but when and where we wear masks after the pandemic will look very different, according to Anthony Fauci, MD, chief COVID adviser to President Joe Biden. Read on to discover what Dr. Fauci had to say about how our mask use will change in the not-so-distant future. And if you're eager to get your shot, Dr. Fauci Says You'll Easily Get a Vaccine Appointment After This Date.

During a Feb. 11 interview with American Muslim Health Professionals, Fauci explained, "Until we get a degree of virus that's so low that it, in and of itself, is not a threat, I think we're going to be wearing masks for a considerable period of time."

However, Fauci noted that mask-wearing, a practice that's accepted in many countries around the world, could become something that's done on a case-by-case basis in the future.

"It might be that we accept the wearing of masks the way some of the Asian countries do, where people don't wear masks all of the time. They wear it sometimes when they're out, or they're not feeling well, [or] they feel there's a lot of viral illness in the community," he explained.

While the U.S. is currently seeing new COVID cases trend downward, many parts of the country still do have high levels of virus, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to release new guidance on how to make your mask safer. Read on to discover their latest advice, and if you want to ensure that you're protected, check out If You See This on Your Mask, the FDA Says Toss It Immediately.

1
Wear two masks when you go out.

Girl wearing two masks
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Fauci has been recommending double-masking for some time now, noting that it's a practice he does personally and that the CDC now suggests. He explained during a Feb. 11 interview with Today just how you should go about double-masking for the best results, recommending a cloth mask over a surgical mask when you're outside of your home or around people you don't live with.

"If you want to really be sure [you're safe], get a tighter fit with a second mask," Fauci said. And for the latest COVID news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

2
Knot the ear loops behind your mask.

young man putting on ear loops of mask
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If you want to ensure that you're better protected against COVID—and aren't spreading potentially contaminated respiratory droplets—tying knots in your mask's ear loops can help create a better fit on your face, according to the CDC. Once your mask is on, the CDC also recommends tucking in its sides to ensure that no droplets can escape. And for more on the masks you should never use, check out The CDC Warns Against Using These 6 Face Masks.

3
Use a mask fitter.

Man Putting On Face Mask In The City To Prevent Getting Coronavirus, COVID-19
iStock

Mask fitters—small frames that go over a mask to ensure it's properly secured to a person's face—can significantly improve the efficacy of a mask, the CDC says. According to a Feb. 10, 2021 report published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), researchers explained that multiple recent studies have shown that mask fitters can help a typical mask confer as much as 90 percent protection against COVID transmission. And if you're worried about your health at the moment, beware that This Is the Tell-Tale Sign You Have the New COVID Strain, Study Says.

4
Put a nylon covering over your mask.

woman wearing a black gaiter.
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While neck gaiters don't provide sufficient protection against COVID transmission on their own, they may help protect you if they're worn in conjunction with your existing mask. According to the MMWR report, wearing a tightly fitted nylon sleeve over a mask "significantly improved the wearer's protection" by ensuring a closer fit. And for a face covering mistake to avoid, check out The One Type of Face Mask the Mayo Clinic Calls "Unacceptable."

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