BALTIMORE, MD—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday recommended that Americans wear cloth face coverings when out in public.
Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.
In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19 in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores & pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC officials say that maintaining a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing remains important to slowing spread of COVID-19. The CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and to prevent those who may be unaware that they have 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 to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
The cloth face coverings recommended to slow spread of COVID-19 are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those critical supplies must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.