CDC: Universal Mask Wearing Recommended to Slow COVID-19 Spread

Without an FDA approved treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, masks are the best form of protection, according to the CDC.

Current evidence shows face coverings and masks can prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to the CDC. The agency has publicly recommended cloth face coverings to be worn.

“Cloth face coverings are 1 of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus, particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” stated CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield, in a prepared statement.1

The federal agency also emphasized the importance of masks and face coverings in a recent JAMA editorial that discussed protecting others as well as personal protection against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.2

With emerging evidence showing that asymptomatic individuals can spread SARS-CoV-2, universal mask wearing is crucial to slow the pandemic especially as more businesses have reopened.2 Since there are no federal laws enforcing universal mask wearing, some states have enacted laws that mandate them. Without an FDA approved treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, masks are the best form of protection.

The CDC recommends that individuals wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around those who do not live in the same household to reduce the spray of respiratory droplets.3 Cloth face coverings should not be worn by children under the age of 2 years or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance. Face coverings should be used in combination with social distancing measures, or staying at least 6 feet away from other individuals.

A version of this article was originally published by Contemporary Clinic. Visit ContemporaryClinic.com to view the full article.

REFERENCES

  • CDC Calls on Americans to Wear Masks to Prevent COVID-19 Spread [news release].Atlanta, GA: CDC; July 14, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0714-americans-to-wear-masks.html. Accessed July 17, 2020.
  • Brooks JT, Butler JC, Redfield RR. Time for universal masking and prevention of transmission of SARS-CoV-2- The time is now. JAMA. Published online July 14, 2020.doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.13107.
  • CDC. Considerations for wearing cloth face coverings. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html. Updated July 16, 2020. Accessed July 18, 2020.