CDC Recommends Wearing Facemask to Slow Coronavirus Spread

April 3, 2020

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday issued voluntary guidance to Americans to wear a facemask when going outside in public. This guideline is in addition to maintaining social distancing and keeping groups sizes small.

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.  CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  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.

Medical-grade N95 respirators are in short supply. In lieu of the N95 masks, the CDC shared materials in which masks could be fashioned.