Fit is top priority for masking against COVID-19

January 7, 2022

Fit is top priority for masking against COVID-19

The omicron variant's enhanced ability to transmit COVID-19 is a good reason to consider the protection afforded by face masks. 

"You are looking for a really good fitting mask. It doesn't have to be a respirator, it can still be a cloth mask, but you want to have a good fit around your face," said registered nurse Vanessa Makarewicz (muh-care-witz), UW Medicine's director of infection prevention and control at Harborview Medical Center.

Makarewicz was wearing a KN95 mask, which has multiple layers to better filter out virus particles. Medical-grade disposable masks work well, she said, and cloth masks are sufficient if they have multiple layers or if you double up and wear one mask over the other. She demonstrated how to make a standard surgical mask fit more snugly. 

Wearing a tight-fitting mask better protects you and the people you're with, she said. 

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