(CBS Boston) — The COVID-19 variant from the United Kingdom is more contagious and could be more deadly, so a Boston doctor is urging people to update their face covering.

“I do think that if people are now wearing a thin cloth mask, they should try to wear two masks rather than one,” said Dr. Paul Sax who heads the Infectious Diseases Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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He said surgical masks like N-95s are more effective against the mutant strain.

“Given how many people have COVID-19, that’s potentially a huge number of new infections,” Sax added.

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Concern for the new variant is growing in Massachusetts and across the country.

“We need to assume now that what’s been circulating more dominantly in the UK does have a certain degree of increase in what we call virulence – mainly the power of the virus to cause more damage, including death,” Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci told Face the Nation Sunday.

Fauci also said the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines seem to be protective against the UK variant.

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“The sooner we can get the population vaccinated, the better,” said Sax.