The experts tell The New York Times that wearing a properly fitting mask that is made from quality material should be enough in most instances, but virus transmission expert Linsey Marr notes, "If you combine multiple layers, you start achieving pretty high efficiencies... [but] we run the risk of making it too hard to breathe."
If you do not have access to N95 masks, which are still in short supply and should be used in healthcare settings, the virus transmission expert suggests using a face-hugging cloth mask over a surgical mask, which may provide extra protection.
Also, using a cloth mask with an insert for a filter can also provide an additional layer of safety.
The NYT shares other ways to make your mask more effective, writing, "Enhance a mask’s fit, such as ties that secure the fabric around the back of the head, instead of relying on ear loops that allow masks to hang and gape... nose bridges, which can help the top of a mask to fit more snugly, offer a protective boost as well."
Of course, no mask is foolproof from COVID-19 and we need to remember that a face mask is a preventive tool. Handwashing, social distancing, avoiding crowds, and not interacting with people from outside of your household is still vital.
Worried about how effective your face mask is? Take our 2-step mask test!