Humboldt County Health Officer Ian Hoffman suggested during a media availability Thursday that residents should consider double masking, if possible, in an effort to avoid another potential surge in COVID-19 infections.
Hoffman's comments came a day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported it has found double masking — or wearing a medical procedure (or surgical) mask underneath a cloth mask — can maximize fit and "substantially" improve both source control and wearer exposure.
Asked about the prospect of another surge, Hoffman said the concern is virus variants that look to be more contagious.
"So this is really the time for us to double down on our efforts for wearing a mask; using the opportunity to really increase your mask efficacy," he said. "Making sure it's a tight-fitting mask, that it's a double layer or even double masking with a surgical mask and another mask on top of it if possible."
Yesterday, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci appeared on the Today show and said the push to double mask is really about ensuring a tighter fit around the mouth and nose.
"[Wear] one mask at least, but if you want to really be sure, get a tighter fit with the second mask," he said. "The fit is better if you put a surgical mask on and put a cloth mask over."
As an alternative to the double masking, the CDC also recommends wearing a surgical mask and knotting the ear loops and tucking in the mask's sides to give its tighter fit.
Watch Hoffman's entire Feb. 11 media availability below.