DR. LINSEY MARR:
Unfortunately, there aren’t any standards for masks right now. Those are coming, but it’s going to be several months. In the meantime, what we know is that tightly woven cloth works better than loosely knitted cloth. Two layers is better than one. Three layers is even better, as long as it doesn’t inhibit you from breathing easily through the fabric.
If you really want to upgrade your masks, the thing to do is to look for a mask with a pocket or a middle layer where you can insert a filter. Things like a HEPA filter, a high-efficiency particulate air filter, work very well, block 99 percent of particles.
The other thing you can do is to use a surgical-type mask which filters really well, but probably doesn’t fit so well, especially around the sides, and to layer a second mask on top of that, like a tight-fitting cloth mask, to help improve the fit and reduce gaps. That way, you get both good filtration and a good fit.