March 9, 2021

CDC now recommends people consider wearing cloth face masks in public

(Franklin, GA) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now recommending the voluntary use of face coverings when in public.

But they may not be effective at preventing coronavirus.

Are you still at risk of coronavirus if you wear a homemade mask in public? Why are N95 masks considered better?

The most important takeaway from the CDC’s message is that covering your face when you leave the house is a “voluntary public health measure” and must not replace proven precautions like self-quarantine at home, social distancing and thoroughly washing your hands.

The CDC is the US authority on protocols and protections against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

In the CDC’s words, it “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 institute says not to seek out medical or surgical-grade masks for yourself and to leave N95 respirator masks to health care workers, opting instead for basic cloth or fabric coverings that can be washed and reused.

N95 respirator masks differ from other types of surgical masks and face masks because they create a tight seal between the respirator and your face, which helps filter at least 95% of airborne particulates.

They might include an exhalation valve to make it easier to breathe while wearing them.

Coronaviruses can linger in the air and be transmitted from person to person through vapor (breath), talking, coughing, sneezing, saliva and transfer over commonly touched objects.

Previously, the agency considered homemade face masks a last resort in hospitals and medical facilities.

Many sites sharing instructions for homemade masks were created as a fashionable way to keep the wearer from breathing in large particles, like car exhaust, air pollution and pollen during allergy season.

They were not conceived of as a way to protect you from acquiring COVID-19. However, the CDC now believes they might help slow the spread of coronavirus since other types of masks are no longer widely available.

The CDC says cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

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.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: