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VERIFY: Delta variant does not require a different mask than before

A WCNC Charlotte viewer wanted to know if the more contagious delta variant meant a better mask than before.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced new revelations about the delta COVID-19 variant's contagiousness, leading to some questions about masking and whether better face coverings were necessary to protect against the more transmissible virus.

According to Dr. Mandy Cohen, North Carolina's Health and Human Services Secretary, a person infected with delta can spread the virus to six people, while the original strain of the coronavirus would spread to two to three people.

The CDC now states that everyone, even fully vaccinated people, should mask up in indoor, public settings with high or substantial transmission areas. North Carolina and South Carolina are considered to have that level of spread.

WCNC Charlotte viewer Richard B. reached out to the Verify team asking, "Do the new variants require a better mask?"

The Question

Do people need a better mask than before because of the more contagious delta variant?


  • The CDC
  • Dr. Jonathan Knoche, Medical Consultant, South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control

The Answer

The CDC does not have any different advice on face coverings than it had before delta's emergence, and the masks it recommends are the same.

It says to choose a mask with two or more layers of fabric, that fits snugly on your face, and completely covers both nose and mouth.

Credit: CDC

"The masks currently recommended by the CDC are appropriate for the variants currently circulating, including delta," said Knoche. "I think what matters most is that masks are worn consistently and properly and cover the mouth and nose."

So, as long as you've been using the type of face coverings previously recommended, experts say no masking change is needed to protect against delta.

Contact Nate Morabito at nmorabito@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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