By the Autoimmune Hepatitis Association

The arrival of new variants of the coronavirus in the US have some experts advising that now is the time to consider what type of mask you’re wearing and how many. Not only is there significant community spread of the coronavirus right now, but these new variants seem to be more easily transmitted from one person to another. Mask wearing is more important than ever.

A major issue has been fit. Of course, your mask needs to be pulled above your nose, but it’s also important that it fits correctly. A surgical mask (multi-layer) is better at filtering air compared to a cloth mask; however, with surgical masks, gaps near the checks and nose can increase the amount of unfiltered air inhaled.

That’s where a double mask comes in. One approach to combat the problem with gapping is using a surgical mask and then layering a cloth mask on top of this, which also provides another barrier. The goal is to block more and smaller respiratory drops.

Experts are recommending double masking during indoor activities such as shopping or traveling. You might also consider wearing a fitted (no gaps) and better filtering mask, such as a KN95 (China), KF94 (Korea), FFP2 (Europe) or N95 during higher risk activities.

We are deep into a world fight against the novel coronavirus, and as the virus changes, we need to adapt and better protect ourselves.