TAMPA, Fla. - Doctors are confident that the new COVID-19 variant is no more effective at getting through cloth masks as the original strain of the virus.
"If the wall is made out of wood, or concrete, you still can't get through it," said USF virologist Dr. Michael Teng.
While it may take a smaller amount of the virus to cause an infection, it does not appear to be any better at getting through masks when worn by a virus carrier.
"All masks are basically the same efficacy against the new variants as they are against the virus itself," said Teng.
The CDC said Friday there have been 50 known cases of the variant in Florida, the second-most in the country.
While the type of mask you wear may not change how much virus can get through, wearing two could help prevent virus from getting around it.
"There might be gaps on the sides," said Virginia Tech environmental engineer Linsey Mann. "If you use a tight-fitting cloth mask, it will secure down the edges of the surgical mask so there are no leaks."