CDC: Yeah, wear cloth face masks in public now
CDC is now recommending that people wear simple cloth face coverings in public settings like grocery stores and pharmacies where social-distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
The new recommendation was handed down on Friday, after days of back and forth in public health circles.
The recommendation is based on a new understanding that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic COVID-19 individuals can transmit the virus to others.
This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms
It is being emphasized that maintaining six-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.
Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
This recommendation complements and does not replace the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, 30 Days to Slow the Spread, which remains the cornerstone of the national effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
CDC will make additional recommendations as the evidence regarding appropriate public health measures continues to develop.