New York City’s Health Department has updated the coronavirus safety guidelines with the recommendation that individuals now wear two masks, as cases of the extra-infectious UK variant are steadily increasing in the city and state.
“Masks help us face the world and each other but it’s important that we cover up correctly,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, who showed off his own double masking technique at the mayor’s press conference on Thursday. “The strategies we’re sharing today will help shield all of us from COVID-19. The most important thing remains wearing face coverings consistently and properly, covering both your nose and mouth, indoors and outdoors.”
Chokshi wore a single-use surgical mask against his face, and then covered it with a reusable cloth mask.
New Yorkers are encouraged to wear a cloth mask covering a disposable mask when out and about to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Wearing two surgical masks will not be helpful, as one of the most important elements of a mask is how snugly it can fit the wearer’s jaw and goes over the nose and will prevent gaps on the sides or top letting air in or out.
Reusable masks should be made of breathable cloth fabrics like cotton, as opposed to plastic, which can make it difficult to breathe.
For those at higher risk or those who are regularly exposed to others or people who are sick, K95 masks are encouraged. K95 masks are similar to medical-grade N95 respirators, which are prioritized for hospital settings and healthcare workers.
Updated Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 2:04 pm .