Dear students, faculty, and staff,

The CDC published updates on mask use today which can be found here, specifically see the sections “Improve How Your Mask Protects You” and “Types of Masks.”

The updated CDC guidance highlights similar information shared by infectious disease expert Dr. Chris Ohl in his recent video:

  • The fit and seal of a mask are important factors in efficacy.
  • Masks with a nose wire improve the seal of the mask.
  • The number of layers of material is important: two or more layers of cloth are recommended, and/or the addition of a filter.
  • Cloth masks made with material with a tighter weave are more effective.
    A single mask can provide adequate protection if it fits well, has a good seal and has multiple layers of material (CDC gives tips on how to assess for fit and seal).
  • There are also mask “fitter” devices that go over a mask to improve the seal of the mask.
  • Wear a mask in public settings when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when indoors and when it may be difficult for you to stay six feet apart from people who don’t live with you.
  • CDC provides helpful tips on Dos and Don’ts for mask use.

Proper mask wearing in the presence of others (except for those you live with) remains one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes while eating and drinking: lower your mask only to put food and drink in your mouth.

Through robust efforts at the individual and community level, we can prevent the spread of infection and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on teaching and learning.

Michele Gillespie
Dean of the College
Wake Forest University