With new variants of coronavirus spreading, taking simple steps to slow its spread is crucial. That makes the new Centers of Disease Control guidelines for wearing masks important.

Of course, your mask must be made of the right material, writes Scott Schiffres, a professor of mechanical engineering at Binghamton University. But he and the CDC agree that how well a mask fits matters just as much. Here’s how to make sure your mask isn’t leaking air in or out.

Also today:

Daniel Merino

Assistant Editor: Science, Health, Environment

Masks work only if they fit well, and wearing two can ensure a tight fit. Eduardo Maquilón/Getty Images/Stringer via Getty Images News

CDC says masks must fit tightly – and two are better than one

Scott N. Schiffres, Binghamton University, State University of New York

How well your mask works depends on how well it fits. Wearing two snug masks made of different materials offers 95% protection from exposure to aerosols that could contain the coronavirus.

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