Gaiter effectiveness – fold for optimal protection

Gaiters may not provide the most protection as a face covering, but they are better than nothing.

Jenna Stallsmith, Managing Editor

In the continued fight against COVID-19, masks and face coverings are touted as being the most effective at slowing the spread of the virus that has claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Americans.

However, some studies reveal that gaiters may not be as effective as once thought. According to the Center for Disease Control, it is highly recommended to wear masks with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19. The gaiters provided to students and staff by the South Gibson School Corporation contain only one layer of protection, meaning it would be ideal to fold the gaiter so it has two layers.

“I wear a typical mask to school because I heard they’re supposed to be better for you and those around you,” senior Dylan Anderson said. “But, I wear a gaiter when I’m at soccer events because they’re more comfortable, and we only have to wear them on the bench.”

Researchers are currently looking at all options for wearing neck gaiters and their effectiveness,  investigating both fabric type and thickness. These factors play a large role in the protection from small droplets when someone is talking, coughing or sneezing. 

Some online news outlets claim that wearing a gaiter is worse than wearing nothing at all, but Gibson General Hospital Director of Quality and Infection Prevention Kara Moyer disagrees. 

“I would recommend that if you only have access to neck gaiters, you should wear them,” Moyer said. “Researchers are working diligently to identify the effectiveness of all types of masks and neck gaiters currently. I think that until we have more evidence-based research available, we should continue to use the products that we have available.”

Others think that gaiters are a good option and fit them the best. 

“When it comes down to sports, gaiters are a source of protection that also provides breathability,” senior football player Robert Boarman said.

The best thing people can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases is to frequently wash hands; continue to socially distance when possible; clean and disinfect high touch areas at school, work and home and wear face coverings when in situations where social distancing is not possible. Also, people should do their research before purchasing and wearing a mask. 

For more information on how to select, wear, and clean a mask, visit