CDC says all Americans should wear face masks

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending the use of non-medical cloth face coverings as an additional voluntary public health measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), President Donald Trump announced on Friday.

The agency recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

Cloth face coverings should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, and allow for breathing without restriction. Cloth face coverings should be washed routinely depending on the frequency of use. The agency does not recommend children under 2 years old wear face masks.

Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing the face covering and wash hands immediately after removing, the agency said.

The CDC emphasizes non-medical face masks for general public use, reserving surgical masks or N-95 respirators for healthcare workers and medical first responders. While not as effective, cloth face masks do offer some protection from respiratory droplets that spread the virus.

Cloth face coverings made from household items or common materials can be used. More information can be found here.

Editor’s note: Click here for more information and ongoing COVID-19 updates for integrative healthcare professionals.