One Buff isn’t enough; double-up masks on the slopes this winter

JACKSON, Wyo. — The lifts at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) will start spinning this week and some may be wondering what is considered an appropriate mask for being at the resort.

Though Buffs, or neck gators, are commonly worn while skiing and sometimes used as a mask for COVID-19, JHMR says that may not be enough this winter.

“If you insist on using a Buff or neck tube – it needs to be doubled up – worn over nose and mouth, must cover the chin, and needs to be dry, so bring multiple for the day and switch them out,” Anna Cole, Communications Manager for JHMR said.

According to the CDC, a wet mask can make it difficult to breathe and may not work as well when wet.

The resort said they discourage using Buffs or neck gators since they often only contain one layer of fabric. Scarves or bandannas are also not considered adequate protection. However, as long as the nose, mouth, and chin are covered, that guest is in compliance with the face-covering protocol.

For those not in compliance, a security team has been trained to support those types of interactions.

“Guests will be required to wear face coverings over both nose and mouth at all times while on board, when loading, and when standing in lift lines as well as inside facilities,” Cole said. “Guests are recommended to wear a dry face covering when possible for the best protection. The standard guidance is a non-woven fabric with two or more layers. A standard surgical mask is three layers. An N95 respirator with an exhalation valve is not an adequate face covering. These face-covering guidelines are to protect yourself and other guests while visiting JHMR this winter.”

Skiers and boarders wait in a crowded line for the Sweetwater Gondola in winter 2019/20 before the pandemic came to the US. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

And men, keep in mind that facial hair beyond a tidy mustache can impede the effectiveness of your mask, so clean up and shave this winter!

For more information on CDC considerations with wearing a mask, visit their website here.

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