Expert: people who wear non-medical grade masks should consider doubling up for better protection

Masks have become a part of our lives during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as studies prove that masks help minimize the virus' transmission.

At President Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, all in attendance were wearing masks, and some were even seen wearing two. Wearing two masks is starting to become more common, as more people are looking to do so, as a way to provide themselves another layer of protection.

Medical experts, including Dr. Rand McClain with LCR Health, say it actually isn’t a bad idea.

"The idea of doubling up on the mask is to up the mesh, if you will," said Dr. McClain. "Those who have made their own out of cotton fabric will get and give better protection."

Due to the shortage of the N95 masks, many people had to get creative by making their own face coverings out of cotton materials, or use bandanas for protection.

"The problem with those is the filter, if you will, isn’t as tight as an N95 mask," said Dr. McClain. "More virions can pass through the mask that way, and this is where the second mask may come in handy. You are limiting the number of particles so you might not come down with it."

Dr. McClain says those who wear surgical masks probably won't need to double up, but those using non-medical grade masks or homemade masks should consider doubling up.

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COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

COVID-19 resources

CDC Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)

AZDHS Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)