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Seattle-King County Public Health stresses importance of multi-layered masks

(MyNorthwest photo)

Public Health — Seattle-King County issued a reminder Tuesday containing the most up-to-date guidance on face masks, detailing the latest recommendations from health experts.

Is King County Metro enforcing the mask mandate?

Public Health highlighted two factors that are most important to consider when wearing a mask: fit and filtration.

That means ensuring that any face covering contains between two and three layers of fabric, and fits snuggly “without gaps around the face.”

“Wearing a mask with at least two layers is important,” it advised. “And for the mask to work well, a snug fit is key. Masks that are loose with gaps around your face or nose are not as helpful in protecting you or others.”

This matches with recent new guidance from experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been a frequent proponent of double-masking as a “common sense” measure to increase protection against more infectious variant strains of COVID-19.

That’s backed up by data from the CDC, which says that “multi-layer cloth masks block release of exhaled respiratory particles into the environment, along with the microorganisms these particles carry.” The CDC estimates that using more than one layer could block “up to 50-70% of these fine droplets and particles and limit the forward spread of those that are not captured.”

Public Health — Seattle-King County went on to reiterate the importance of continuing to wear a mask in public even if you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19.

“The vaccines are effective in preventing you from getting sick with COVID-19,” it noted. “But we don’t yet know if you may still be able to get infected with the virus and pass it on to others. At this time, everyone, including people who get vaccinated should continue to follow current public health guidance.”

“Over time, as more people in the community are vaccinated, we will likely be able to relax other COVID-19 prevention measures that are currently needed,” it added. “But definitely not yet.”

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