WASHINGTON (WATE) —The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday issued new recommendations for wearing masks that mark a significant departure from previous guidance. Surgeon General Jerome Adams says it is easy to make a cloth mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19, and he shows you how it’s done in a DIY video on the surgeon general’s Twitter on Saturday morning.
The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain like grocery stores and pharmacies, and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
“It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus,” the agency says on its website:
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.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Unpacking the guidance
“I want to unpack the evolution of our guidance on masks, because it has been confusing to the American people,” Adams said during a press briefing Friday.
Adams said that although and he other public health experts initially believed wearing a mask would not have a substantial impact on curbing the spread, the latest evidence makes clear that people who don’t show any symptoms can nonetheless pass on the virus.
“We’re looking at the data, we’re evolving our recommendations, and new recommendations will come as the evidence dictates,” Adams says.
(This article includes material from the Associated Press.)
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