By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Mask wearing has become a way of life for most people, but now the CDC is suggesting two masks be worn due to the more contagious strains of COVID-19 that are increasingly spreading throughout the country.

“This is what the CDC came up with, is a surgical mask and you tuck it in your cheeks and you double knot it,” Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease doctor with the University of California, San Francisco, demonstrated Wednesday. “They call it knot and tuck.”

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The CDC says experiments last month with various masking scenarios –including the wearing of a cloth masks over a medical procedure mask, and a medical procedure mask with knotted ear loops and tucked in sides – were found to improve the fit of these masks and reduced exposure to aerosol droplets that could transmit SARS-COV-2.

“The receiver’s exposure was maximally reduced (>95%) when the source and the receiver were fitted with modified medical procedure masks,” the CDC said. “These laboratory-based experiments highlight the importance of good fit to optimize mask performance.”

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The CDC also suggested mask fitters and nylon coverings over a mask as a way to improve mask fit.

Face masks have been mandated in 14 states, including California, and on all federal property, as well as on planes, trains, buses, subways and rideshare vehicles. Public health officials say face masks are the easiest and most inexpensive way to slow the spread of COVID-19.

But with the UK variant of the virus popping up more frequently in the U.S. the CDC is now urging people to make sure their masks are fitted firmly to their faces so that air doesn’t leak out around the edges.

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“Controlling SARS-CoV-2 transmission is critical not only to reduce the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on human health and the economy but also to slow viral evolution and the emergence of variants that could alter transmission dynamics or affect the usefulness of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines,” the CDC said. “Until vaccine-induced population immunity is achieved, universal masking is a highly-effective means to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 when combined with other protective measures, such as physical distancing, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and good hand hygiene.”