By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Following the lead of federal health authorities, California officials Thursday urged residents in the Southland and across the state to consider wearing two masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The California Department of Public Health issued revised guidance on mask-wearing, urging people to wear face coverings that are free of gaps that can allow respiratory droplets to escape.

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Nurse Rosaura Rodriguez wearing a double mask looks on at the entrance to the Health Center where she attends hundreds of people who come seeking medical attention on suspicion of COVID-19.

The department also urged residents guidance promotes “double masking” — wearing a cloth mask over a surgical/disposable mask.

“We are encouraging people basically to double down on mask-wearing, particularly in light of all of what I would argue is bad information coming from at least four states in this country,” Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters Thursday, referring to states that have lifted mask mandates. “We will not be walking down their path. We’re mindful of your health and our future.”

On Tuesday, Newsom sharply criticized an announcement by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to lift that state’s mask mandate.

Newsom – who is currently the target of a recall campaign – called the move “absolutely reckless.”

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Last month, the CDC suggested wearing two masks due to the more contagious strains of COVID-19 that are increasingly spreading throughout the country.

The department said experiments with various masking scenarios –including the wearing of 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 combination of the cloth mask covering the medical procedure mask blocked 92.5% of the cough particles,” according to the study.

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

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)