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California Makes Double Masking Official

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A man wears a double mask as he walks in Times Square on April 6, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
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California health officials updated the state's mask guidance today, urging everyone to consider wearing two masks instead of one, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

With the emergence of more contagious variants and vaccine supply still lagging, Governor Gavin Newsom says it's time for Californians to double mask, until a higher proportion of the population is vaccinated:

"This is not the time to spike the ball. There's no mission accomplished sign behind us. We really have to work through this next six to eight/nine weeks, the next 100 days, until we get to that abundance frame with the vaccines.''

Newsom criticised Gov. Greg Abbot's decision to end the statewise mask mandate in Texas, calling it a "terrible mistake," and pointing out that the COVID-19 positivity rate in Texas is about five times higher than California.
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The new state guidance brings California in line with the CDC, which promotes wearing a cloth mask over surgical or disposable one. A February CDC study found that wearing two masks could reduce COVID-19 exposure by over 90%.

Those face coverings should also be tight fitting, and free of gaps that could allow any respiratory droplets to escape or enter.

It's important to note which masks you should be wearing over one another. For those details, we recommend reading the California mask guidance here and here and the CDC's mask tips here.

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