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How to properly wear two masks, plus more face covering tips
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How to properly wear two masks, plus more face covering tips

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t yet changed its guidelines: At least for now, people should follow the same rules as everybody else about wearing a mask, keeping a 6-foot distance and avoiding crowds — even after they’ve gotten their second vaccine dose.

Vaccines in use so far require two doses, and experts say especially don't let your guard down after the first dose.

Mask advice from the CDC focuses on making sure masks fit correctly to better prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC studied whether wearing two masks provided more protection than one and found that it did. The researchers found that wearing one mask — surgical or cloth — blocked about 40% of the particles coming toward the head that was breathing in. When a cloth mask was worn on top of a surgical mask, about 80% were blocked.

Here is a look at the CDC’s advice and some tips on how to mask properly.

More mask advice to keep in mind

When to wear one

  • Wear a mask any time you are in a public setting. Children under the age of 2 and people who cannot wear a mask safely due to a disability or an underlying medical condition should not wear a mask.
  • Masks are required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation when traveling into, within or out of the United States, as of Feb. 2.
  • If you will be near people who do not live with you, wear a mask.
  • If someone you live with is sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19, wear a mask inside your home.

How to wear one

  • Always wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on your mask and don’t touch the mask while you are wearing it.
  • If you wear glasses, find a mask that fits closely over your nose or has a nose wire to help reduce fogging. You might also try to use an antifogging spray made for eyeglasses.
  • Don’t use a mask that is made out of fabric that makes it hard to breathe. Pass on any mask that includes an exhalation vale or vent, which could allow virus particles to escape. And, leave the N95 respirators for health care workers, the CDC says.

What to do in cold weather

  • Wear a mask underneath your scarf, ski mask or balaclava — these items are not replacements for a mask.
  • Change your mask when it becomes wet. A wet mask is harder to breathe through, is less efficient at filtering and vents more around the edges of the mask. Keep a spare mask to replace one that becomes wet from moisture in your breath due to snow or rain.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Tribune reporting.

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