Public health officials at both the state and national levels are now encouraging citizens to double up on facemasks to protect from contracting COVID-19 and the new variants showing up.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has endorsed the idea of wearing multiple face masks at once, with the argument that the more layers are more effective. Locally, Susan Arnold, a professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health has weighed in on the topic. Susan's team has actually been studying the effectiveness of masks during the pandemic.

In an interview with Kare11, she shared that the effectiveness of doubling up masks depends on the mask itself:

A single mask with a really good fit may be superior to a couple of masks that are really poorly fit. Honestly, (fit) is important whether you're wearing a cloth mask or an N95.

Susan went on to share that whether you choose to double up or not, masking, in general, should be paired with other precautions. Things like social distancing, increasing ventilation when you are with others indoors, limiting your time in public places where those two things can't be done, and of course staying home when you are sick.

Neither the CDC nor MDH have recommended any form of double-masking yet, but the trend did show up on both Pete Buttigieg and poet Amanda Gorman at President Biden's inauguration. Could it be a sign of things to come? Only time will tell. Until then, I'll continue to keep hoisting my singular mask back up over my nose as it slides down.

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