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Double-Masking: Doctors urge more protection against new COVID-19 mutation

Updated: Jan. 25, 2021 at 6:13 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Federal officials and health experts warn of a rapidly growing new coronavirus strain in the United States.

The UK variant has been found in at least 23 states so far. Some cases show it is more contagious and could be more deadly. Health experts predict it could be the dominant strain by March.

Until a COVID-19 vaccine is available to the general public, some doctors have recommended upgrading or doubling down on masks to prevent a more disastrous surge.

While N95 masks are still the gold standard, blocking 95% of germs, they will be harder to find and should be reserved for healthcare workers. So experts say the next best thing may be double-masking.

Researchers at Virgina Tech found layering two cloth masks will up the efficacy from 50% to 75%. Wearing a three-layer mask can block up to 90% of particles.

The multi-layer method is recommended for high-risk situations, like travel, shopping, and gathering with loved ones.

“As long as it’s tightly woven, such that it’s breathable but not to the point where air just escapes everywhere,” Dr. Mark Burns with UofL Health said. “It has to fit well. It has to fit over your nose, mouth and underneath your chin.”

You can find our WAVE 3 News Now interview with Dr. Burns full interview below.

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