New York City’s Health Department is now recommending that Big Apple residents wear two face masks instead of one to fight back against the spread of COVID-19.
“We know that even as the vaccine is here, the need to keep wearing a mask is paramount, it’s crucial. It’s amazing of how all the things that we’ve learned in this crisis, maybe the most profound is the power of a mask,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a City Hall press briefing Thursday as the new mask guidance was announced.
“Even one of these paper masks makes a huge difference, but what we’re saying today is, time to double up,” Hizzoner said.
“Two masks are better than one. Make it a double.”
The new face-covering guidance from the city’s Department of Health comes after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its own guidance, saying that adding more layers of material to a mask “is a good way to reduce the number of respiratory droplets containing the virus that come through the mask.”
“One layering strategy is to use a cloth mask that has multiple layers of fabric. Another strategy is to wear two masks or a ‘double mask,’” the CDC says.
City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said the department’s double-mask guidance is based on the guidance from the CDC.
“The single most important thing remains — wearing a face covering consistently and properly so that it covers both your nose and mouth and you wear it both indoors and outdoors,” Chokshi said Thursday as he spoke alongside de Blasio.
But, Chokshi added, “Using two masks is more effective at stopping the spread of the virus.”
Chokshi said people should wear a cloth mask over a disposable mask when doubling up — rather than donning two disposable masks.
“Two of the disposable masks will not improve fit,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Chokshi suggested that those 65 and older and those with underlying conditions should “consider” using a higher-grade face mask like a KN95.
The latest city data shows that the Big Apple has a coronavirus positivity rate of 7.17 percent on a seven-day rolling average.
That data also shows that 262 people were admitted to city hospitals with suspected COVID-19 on Tuesday and 57 percent of them tested positive for the bug.
The city’s seven-day rolling average of new virus cases was at 3,216, according to the data.