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Are two masks better than one? A local expert weighs in

Masks .jpg
Posted at 5:23 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 17:23:17-05

LANSING, Mich. — Masks aren't only a necessary accessory. They're also a hot topic. And recently, there have been talks about double masking.

Michigan State University Dr. Peter Gulick believes wearing two masks is an appropriate thing to do and encourages people to double up.

"The new variants are very disturbing because there's a couple of them, the United Kingdom variant has already been seen here in Michigan in Washtenaw County, and I believe Wayne County. And now the South African variant has just been described in South Carolina," said Gulick.

Gulick says these variants are about 50% more infectious than the original COVID-19 virus.

"The other situation is that because we're indoors more now, we're in enclosed areas. We don't have ventilation. You know aerosolization is another mechanism of the spread of the virus. We worry about droplets, but aerosolization could provide finer particles of virus. And they can extend beyond six feet. They can go 12 feet or even further when you have an aerosolized type of situation like somebody sneezing."

Lori Bailey-Smith says she's been wearing two masks since Dec. when the numbers started to go up, and the salon she works at saw an increase in clients.

"I have a job where I have to come in contact with people. And it's for an extended amount of time. Sometimes an hour that I'm in contact. So, I feel it's important to protect them as well as myself. And I have to come home at the end of the day to my family," said Bailey-Smith.

Joel Krupa says he's not anti-mask but doesn't feel like he should be wearing two.

"The material that I wear on my mask that I have is very, very strong. In fact, we conducted a test where we did the match blowout. And I had to blow really, really hard to blow out that match. So, it gives me really good confidence that I'm wearing a really, really quality mask," said Krupa.

When it comes to wearing a mask, it's important to remember some are less effective than others.

"Bandanas and neck gaiters tend to be not as good. They tend to be thin and single-layered and things like that. So, you're better off with a mask, and the better masks are multiple layered, so at least two layers. Some of them even have a place to put a filter in," said the Ingham County Health Officer, Linda Vail.

For more information about selecting a proper mask, click here.

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Tianna Jenkins

12:23 PM, Jan 12, 2021
Isabella Martin, Multimedia Journalist

Isabella Martin

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