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Doubling up on masks adds to "obstacle course" for COVID particles, research shows

Study: Multi-layer face masks work better
Coronavirus face masks: Study shows multi-layer masks work better 02:09

Health experts saying wearing a mask provides protection against COVID-19 both for the person wearing it and those around them. Now, reports CBS Denver,  there's evidence that wearing two masks may offer even more protection.

The station's medical editor, Dr. Dave Hnida, spoke about those reports in an interview on CBSN Denver.

"It has been backed up by research that two masks are, in fact, better than one," Hnida said. "Specifically what we're saying is that two masks may actually equal the protection you would get from N-95 masks, which is considered the best mask there is short of a complete respirator-type unit."

He said wearing a surgical mask with a cloth mask over it provides an extra layer of protection.

"The reason for that is you do wind up getting more filtration of viral particles. It becomes more of an obstacle course for the viral particle to make its way from the air into your nose and throat and then into your lungs."

But Hnida cautions that three masks may be going too far, since that could interfere with the ability to breathe.

He pointed out Joe Biden has been "double-masking" for many months, as have NFL coaches at games.

"Even in my own family, when we have outside contact — as limited as it may be — we double mask," Hnida said. "So the question is, 'Is it effective?' The answer is 'yes' -- and it's something you may want to consider."

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