Most people support double-masking, but that doesn’t mean they actually do it, poll reports show

Top line

Americans broadly back public health recommendations to layer face masks as new variants of the coronavirus spread across country, new Harris survey found, but a much smaller part actually follows the guidelines and duplicates itself.

Highlights

The poll of 1,984 American adults between February 12 and 14 found that 61% of those polled “strongly” or “somewhat” support the concept of double masking.

While they think it’s a good idea, 40% said they are still not masking ‘right now’, compared to 32% who think ‘everyone’ should layer masks and 28% who say that the practice “goes too far”. . “

Only 43% of those surveyed said they always or most of the time, and 39% say they never do.

However, a majority improve their masks in one way or another: 57% say they wear either two masks or medical masks, which offer higher protection than fabric masks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its face advice recently to recommend that people wear a fabric mask with multiple layers of fabric or lay a disposable mask under a fabric mask.

A CDC study found that correctly double masking can reduce the risk of transmitting infectious Covid-19 particles by up to 95%.

Large number

90%. This is the number of respondents who said they wore a face mask in public always or most of the time, even if they did not necessarily mask it twice.

Chief critic

Not all experts have supported double-masking, University of Wisconsin engineering professor David Rothamer telling the Washington post the practice can cause more “air leaks” and uses more masks. “The only reason for [wear two masks] it’s if you can be in better shape, ”he told the To post.

Surprising fact

The CDC does not recommend layering disposable masks on top of each other or doubling the mask while wearing an N95 or KN95 mask. Indeed, the N95 and KN95 masks are designed to be worn alone and the addition of a second mask could “affect their fit to the face and decrease their effectiveness” and “increase the effort required to breathe through them”, the CDC Recount the Los Angeles Times.

Key context

Improved face mask wear has become an issue as several new variants of the coronavirus have started to spread across the country that are believed to be more transmissible and, in some cases, likely more deadly. There are around 1,300 recorded cases of Covid-19 linked to the mutations as of Wednesday, according to at CDC, most cases being the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the UK. There are 1,277 cases of the strain so far in 42 states, and a recent study found that cases related to the variant were doubling in the United States about every 10 days.

Further reading

The Insight: Latest Trends from the Harris Poll (The Harris Poll)

Should we double-mask? Here’s what the new CDC (Forbes) recommendations say

Montana becomes last state to lift mask mandate despite threat of new coronavirus variants (Forbes)

Masks should fit better or be lined to protect against coronavirus variants, CDC says (Washington Post)

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