NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a new recommendation in the five boroughs when it comes to masking up to stop the spread of COVID: Two is better than one.

As CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported Friday, it comes following the CDC’s new guidelines to “double mask.”

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It’s become the norm to see people walking around wearing a mask. But now more people, like Brianna Lowenstein, are wearing two.

“Just with all the different variants of COVID-19 out there, I just want to make sure I have extra layers, extra protection, especially in areas like the grocery store and the subway,” Lowenstein said.

LINK: NYC Health Face Covering FAQs

“It’s hard enough to have enough people put on one mask,” said Chris from Brooklyn.

The city’s health department updated its mask guidance to recommend people older than two years old wear a mask with at least two layers of material, or double-up.


“Two masks are better than one. Make it a double,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We do think that double masking provides a higher level of protection that is comparable to some of the higher-grade masks,” said Dr. David Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner.

The city is following CDC guidance, which says you should not combine a KN-95 mask with any other mask – or layer two disposable masks.

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Health officials say the proper way to double mask is to first put on a disposable mask, then a cloth face covering for a more snug fit.

LINK: How To Wear Two Face Coverings

“You’re really closing in any opportunity for air to leak out of the side,” said Dr. Jake Deutsch from Cure Urgent Care.

Dr. Deutsch showed us how, if worn properly, two masks make a big difference.

“You’re talking about what’s been reported as a 95, 96% effectiveness by using double masks. So, we’re essentially talking close to what we’re recommending or reporting for being vaccinated,” Deutsch said.


“Of all the things that we’ve learned in this crisis, maybe the most profound is the power of a mask,” de Blasio said.

CBS2 reached out to the city’s department of education to see if double masking will be required in schools. A spokesperson said:

We are in constant conversation with public health experts to ensure our schools are both safe and healthy, and, in accordance with [the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s] updated guidance for all New Yorkers, are determining how this applies to schools.

Experts say wearing at least one mask consistently and correctly is critical to curbing COVID.

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The city’s guidance also suggests people at greater risk – including those 65 or older, or those with underlying medical conditions – consider wearing higher grade masks, like KN95s.

Jenna DeAngelis