As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, public health officials have continued to update their guidance concerning prevention methods — especially masks. Early in the year, experts weren't aware of how effective protective face coverings were in preventing the spread of the highly infectious virus, initially telling people not to wear them. However, as the months have progressed and research has support mask-wearing as one of the more important tools we have against coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control has continued to tighten their stance on mask-wearing. Now, as the country is entering into the worst part of the pandemic thus far, with infections, hospitalizations, and deaths breaking daily records, they are strongly urging "universal mask use." Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The CDC Advises You Wear a Mask In Your Home—In Certain Situations
In their updated guidance, the CDC asks people to wear masks anytime they are outside of their home — and even inside of their homes in certain situations.
"Consistent and correct use of face masks is a public health strategy critical to reducing respiratory transmission of SARS-CoV-2, particularly in light of estimates that approximately one half of new infections are transmitted by persons who have no symptoms," they explain in their weekly Morbidity and Mortality report. "Compelling evidence now supports the benefits of cloth face masks for both source control (to protect others) and, to a lesser extent, protection of the wearer."
They emphasize that wearing a face mask "is most important in indoor spaces and outdoors when physical distance of ≥6 feet cannot be maintained. Within households, face masks should be used when a member of the household is infected or has had recent potential COVID-19 exposure (e.g., known close contact or potential exposure related to occupation, crowded public settings, travel, or nonhousehold members in your house)."
This Will Give You More Freedom in the Long Run, Says the CDC
The CDC also points out that following their recommendations — which include social distancing, avoiding non-essential travel, avoiding non-essential indoor spaces and crowded outdoor situations, and limiting contact of those who live outside of your household — will give you more freedom in the long run.
"Full implementation of public health prevention strategies can help preserve the functioning of essential businesses that supply food to the population, contribute to the health protection of communities and individual persons, and fuel economic recovery," they point out. "Full implementation of and adherence to these strategies will save lives."
Help us end this pandemic with fewer deaths, including your own—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with, practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.