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Mask Wearing: 1 Mask Required / 2 Masks Recommended

Recently there’s been a lot of discussion about the ongoing need for masks, worn correctly:

In Massachusetts, masks are required in all public spaces, indoors and outdoors. 

On campus, everyone is required to wear a mask, and to wear it correctly -- covering your nose and mouth, and it should have 3 layers. Science has shown that masks are 95% effective at stopping transmission, and we have seen evidence of this on campus. Here's another page with all of the facts about how effective masks are, compiled by an epidemiologist! 

This week’s update from the CDC: due to the different, highly contagious viral variants that are now circulating, we are recommending wearing 2 masks any time you’re inside a public space and/or around many other people. The specific CDC recommendation is that you start with a disposable medical mask underneath, with a cloth mask layered over the top (see Dr. Anthony Fauci below to see how it’s done).

Most important is to make sure that masks fit properly:

  • covering both your nose and mouth

  • the inner medical mask should have a nose wire to make a proper seal against your nose

  • the outer cloth mask should press the inner mask closer to your face and ensure a tighter fit 

Here is another visual about how properly fitted masks are most effective at reducing risk:

FIGURE 2Mean cumulative exposure* for various combinations of no mask, double masks, and unknotted and knotted/tucked medical procedure masks

This figure is a bar chart showing the mean cumulative exposure for various combinations of mask wearing for a source and a receiver headform, including no mask and no mask, no mask and mask, mask and no mask, and mask and mask for unknotted medical procedure masks, double masks, and knotted medical procedure masks.

(Source: CDC)

Please see this list for all counterfeit N95 masks.  

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