- What are the current CDC recommendations regarding face mask use?
- According to the CDC, which face masks should I *not* be using?
- Should I be wearing a face mask?
- Why should I wear a face mask? (I’ve never worn one before.)
- Do I need to wear a face mask every time I leave the house?
- Do face masks confer any other benefits?
- Why are reusable face masks better than disposable face masks?
TL;DR: You should wear one.
We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.
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.
In light of this new evidence, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
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.