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In the latest news on how to maximize your safety (and that of others) in the time of coronavirus, the CDC now recommends wearing a mask fitter over your face mask. Also known as a mask brace or seal, these are designed to create a tight seal around the nose and mouth to prevent any gaps between your face and the mask, through which contaminated particles can enter and exit. Mask fitters typically feature a solid or elastic frame and are secured with head ties or ear loops.
A newly-released study conducted by CDC researchers found that mask fitters can increase the wearer’s protection by more than 90% when worn over a surgical mask. These offer almost as much protection as N95 respirators — a type of mask which the CDC deems as the best line of defense against the virus, but are typically reserved for essential workers like doctors, nurses and emergency responders.
“Use a mask fitter or brace over a disposable mask or a cloth mask to prevent air from leaking around the edges of the mask,” the CDC writes under a list of “do’s” for improving how your mask protects you.
Moreover, independent scientists at the University of Wisconsin, the University of North Carolina and the University of Iowa all found that fitters have the ability to make your face mask more efficient in combating the spread of germs.
I forgot my cloth mask today, so it was a good day to try a mask brace for my backup surgical-type mask. A 🧵on making it and my impressions of it. /1 pic.twitter.com/dhGhEZsXBf
— Linsey Marr (@linseymarr) January 26, 2021
Furthermore, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House press briefing Wednesday morning that the agency recommends masks have two or more layers in addition to a snug fit around the nose and mouth. You’ll notice that the nation’s top infectious-disease expert Dr. Anhtony Fauci is typically seen doubling up on face masks when he’s out and about. That said, any mask is better than no mask at all.
“Bottom line is this: Masks work, and they work better when they have a good fit and are worn correctly,” Walensky said.
It’s also worth mentioning that since they create a tight seal, these devices may help prevent glasses from fogging up.
You can shop a few styles available on Etsy, ahead.
LetsSaveTogether Badger Seal Mask Fitter
The Badger Seal mask fitter comes in two design options. One offers a behind-the-head fastening, while the other is secured by ear loops. The maker claims that the device delivers an adjustable fit that’s snug around the nose and chin but still allows for “free, comfortable movement.” Made using the University of Wisconsin’s recommended high-quality materials, the top portion includes a waterproof foam-covered wire that’s flexible enough to mold to the contours of your face.
NuProto Toys by us Face Mask Fitter
Also available on Etsy, this face mask fitter is 3D printed to provide a universal fit so it should frame most faces comfortably. The description states that it’s designed to conform to your cheeks as well as around your chin to minimize any gaps where air can escape.
Philly DIY Face Mask Fitter
Another 3D-printed option, this fitter is a little bit pricier, but for good reason — you can order it custom. To do so, follow the simple instructions from the maker that begins with using a face-scanning app to ensure a perfect fit.
ADHCreationsStudio Maveric Edge Fitter
A more affordable option, this 3D-printed fitter from Etsy comes in nine colors to choose from and is easy to use by simply inserting your mask through the side of it.