Thursday, February 11, 2021

Coronavirus Update 2-11-2021: CDC updates its masking guidelines; should you do the same for your business?

The CDC just updated its masking guidelines, now recommending that individuals wear two masks—a well-fitting surgical mask underneath a cloth mask. 

Should you be recommending or requiring the same for your business, both for employees and visitors? 

My answer is no. 

According to CDC research, wearing two masks reduces one's exposure to COVID-19 by 96.4%. Yet, if everyone wears one well-fitting mask, exposure is reduced by 96%. In other words, as long as everyone is being mask-compliant, the efficacy difference is negligible between one mask and two masks. 

Instead of focusing on changing behaviors to two masks, let's make sure employees have the information they need to understand the proper manner in which to wear one mask.

  • Choose a mask with a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top and to ensure a close fit.
  • Check for a snug fit around nose, mouth, and chin.
  • Knot and tuck ear loops of 3-ply masks for a close fit.
  • KN95s still offer the best protection available in a single mask, but any two or more ply cloth or surgical mask is sufficient with a proper fit.