When it comes to preventing spread of COVID-19 not all masks are equal

Don’t double up on masks for Halloween

DETROIT – Not all masks are created equal, especially when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Kristin Englund from the Cleveland Clinic said it’s important to remember only certain masks are proven effective in reducing coronavirus spread.

READ: Michigan lawmakers approve COVID-19 response plan

“We know that cloth masks that have two layers of cloth are the best way to protect yourself when you’re out trick-or-treating. So, try to incorporate that as part of your costume. Try to find some cloth that matches your costume and make your own masks,” she said.

Surgical and cloth masks are often worn to help prevent COVID-19. Research suggests both types of masks are a good way to reduce expelled droplets.

Englund said one layer of cloth is OK, but two layers will provide better protection. It’s also important to remember that a mask needs to be worn over your mouth and nose to be most effective against coronavirus.

If you’re thinking about layering masks on Halloween, don’t bother doubling up.

“To have a mask on that we know is protective against transmitting COVID-19, and then to try and put another costume mask over the top of it -- it’s probably not going to be an easy fit,” she said. “It’s going to be difficult to try to breathe in and it’s just going to cut down on the amount of fun you’re trying to have ... So, let’s just stick with the cloth mask.”

Englund said everyone should wear a mask, even if they don’t have symptoms. Some people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic but still contagious.

READ: ‘COVID-somnia’ -- how pandemic impacts sleep, dreams

About the Authors: