Americans Must Tighten Up, or Double Up, Their Masks, C.D.C. Says

Federal health officials on Wednesday urged Americans to keep their masks on and take steps to make them more agile – or even to cover a cloth over a surgical mask – saying new research has revealed that Masks reduce the spread of coronovirus.

Recent laboratory experiments found that viral transmission could be reduced by up to 96.5 percent if Americans wore serpent surgical masks or cloth-and-surgical-mask combinations. Announcing the findings, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Drs. Rochelle P. Valensky requested Americans to wear a “well-fitting mask”.

“With cases, hospitalizations and deaths still high, now is not the time to roll back mask requirements,” she said. “The bottom line is this: masks work, and they work when they have a good fit and are worn correctly.”

Masking is now mandatory on federal property and domestic and international transport. Studies conducted in homes in Beijing, hair salons in Missouri and people in an aircraft carrier in Guam have proven that “no mask is better,” said CDC Chief Medical Officer Dr. John T. Brooks and lead author. Agency’s new research on masking

“Brooks said,” wearing masks reduces spreads and reduces new infections in mask-wearing communities. “

But when masks reduce respiratory droplets and aerosols by the infected weir, and protect the wearer, the air leaking around the edges of the mask can reduce its effectiveness. The agency’s new laboratory experiments showed how to correct the problem.

An alternative is to wear a cloth mask over the surgical mask, the agency said. An alternative is to fit the surgical mask more tightly on the face. “Knot and tucking” – Namely, knot the two ends of the earplugs together where they attach to the edge of the mask, then bend and level the excess fabric over the edge of the mask and tuck it in for a tight seal.

The agency’s experiments relied on three-ply surgical and cloth masks, and only one type of each mask was tested. Other combinations – such as doubling on a cloth mask or wearing two surgical masks, or applying a surgical mask on a cloth mask – were not tested.

The advice comes even as states have begun taking measures to slow the transmission of the virus. Roughly three dozen states have requirements, but on Monday, Iowa terminated its mandate, joining Mississippi and North Dakota, which occurred a few months earlier.

States are running to restart businesses and reopen schools. For example, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that fans would be allowed to return to the stadium and arenas for sporting events and concerts, with mandatory testing and limited seating capacity. Indoor food will be allowed to resume in New York City on Friday at 25 percent capacity.

Virus-related deaths, which increased rapidly and remained high in the United States in November, are steadily decreasing. New Cases and Hospitals, Started quitting last month.

But the CDC warned that as cases declined, new variants could increase infections if Americans let their guard down. Cases of a more contagious virus variant were first found in Britain In the United States nearly doubling every 10 days. CDC Warned last month It could become the dominant version in the nation by March.

An infectious disease specialist from Vanderbilt University, Drs. “We want to bring it down until most of the adults are vaccinated,” said William Scheffner. Masks are an effective, easy way to avoid another catastrophic “roller coaster”.

“The less opportunities we multiply this virus, the less likely it is that mutations occur and the less likely it is that we get new variants,” Dr. Scheffner said.

An infectious disease specialist at the University of California at San Francisco, Drs. Monica Gandhi is the co-author of a paper Mask making is more effective Which prompted the CDC to conduct new research.

“We want to do our best to reduce transmission using all the elements: masking, distancing, hand hygiene, ventilation,” she said. “If we reduce transmission and we are mass vaccinated at the same time, the virus does not get an opportunity to evade the vaccine.”

The CDC outlined some additional options to improve the effectiveness of masks, including using mask-fitters – frame contouring the face on a mask. Recent studies have found that fitters can increase protection from virus-containing aerosols by 90 percent or more.

Surprisingly, perhaps, the agency also suggested that people consider wearing a sleeve of sheer nylon hosiery material around the neck and pulling on top of a cloth or surgical mask.

CDC Recommendations Drs. Gandhi and Virginia Tech were based on the views expressed by Linsey Mara, an expert on aerosol transmission. He also recommends a surgical mask or three-layer fabric mask covered with a tight-fitting cloth cover, which consists of two outer layers of tightly woven fabric, a middle layer of face and filter material, a vacuum bag. Like the content.

Dr. Marr stated that both tight fit and filtration are important. Even with an N95 respirator mask, the way it is used by health care workers, a good fit is necessary.

Although a growing number of Americans say they support wearing masks, resistance persists in some areas and in some areas. Dr. Marr said he hoped the CDC’s new advice would get some derision.

“I’m sure Resistant will say, ‘What’s next? Three masks? Four masks?'” Said Dr. Marr. “But there’s a ton of interest from those who want to know how good their masks are, and they How to make them better. People want the best possible protection. “

CDC experiments induced the production of aerosols from coughs and predicted their absorption. While an uncontrolled surgical mask blocked 42 percent of the particles and a cloth mask alone blocked 44.3 percent, the combination of the cloth mask on the surgical mask produced 92.5 percent of the cuff particles, Drs. Brooks and his colleagues were blocked.

When both the source and exposed form of aerosols were fitted with a mask or combination of knotted and tuck surgical masks, the receiver’s contact was reduced by 96.4 percent and 95.9 percent.

Dr. Brooks stated that neither of the two methods was correct: the knot and tucking make the surface of the mask smaller, and may be more suitable for people with smaller faces.

Similarly, the cloth and surgical mask combination works well, but thickens the mask and can be difficult for some people to breathe. Additional layers can also disrupt peripheral vision, increasing the risk of tripping or falling.

Dr. Mara said shortness of breath is also important. “If you layer a lot of things at each other that make it harder to breathe, then through it, it’s upside down: it’s more likely that gaps will be found to leak through the air,” he said. said.

Dr. Brooks insisted that masking, as currently practiced by Americans, is not “inadequate”. But the new advice “provides an opportunity to take it to the next level.”

“We are now concerned about forms of virus that can transmit more efficiently or reduce the usefulness of existing diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines,” he said. “We need our game to slow down the spread of the virus and its development.”

Sheryl Gay Stolberg from Washington contributed reporting.

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