CDC Recommends Use of Cloth Face Masks amid Coronavirus Outbreak: COVID-19 Prevention Tips You Should Know
Surgical Mask (Photo Credits: Getty Images|Representational Image)

Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak emerged, people can be seen wearing all kinds of masks in an attempt of protecting themselves from the coronavirus. Masks to protect you from the pandemic has been quite a subject of discussion. Some reports have suggested that masks don't protect you from the virus because COVID-19 is not air-borne and you cannot inhale the virus directly. But then it is important to not spread the virus to others if you have it. WHO recently said, "If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with the suspected 2019-nCoV infection." The organisation suggested wearing a mask only if you are "coughing" or "sneezing". However, CDC recently released guidelines about wearing masks. Coronavirus Outbreak in US: Donald Trump Issues Advisory, Asks Americans to Wear Face Masks as Precaution Against COVID-19, But Says 'It's Voluntary'.  Here are important points to note:

Cloth Face Masks

CDC recommends that you should wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). It stresses on how you must wear cloth mask especially in areas of "significant community-based transmission." How to Make Face Masks at Home Easy? Simple DIY Method to Make Cost-Effective Masks During Coronavirus Pandemic (Watch Tutorial Video). 

Distance

CDC recommends maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slow the spread of the virus. Especially when you are at a public place, you must avoid coming in contact with anyone.

Type of Masks

CDC is advising the use of "simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus". This will help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Can You Make Your Masks At Home?

CDC says, "cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used". This can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Do You Need N-95 Respirators?

The cloth face coverings recommended are NOT surgical masks or N-95 respirators, CDC says. CDC further explains that the N-95 masks are  "critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders". Coronavirus Outbreak: Govt Bans Export of Ventilators, Surgical Masks and Textile Raw Material. 

This recommendation complements and does not replace the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, 30 Days to Slow the Spreadexternal icon, which remains the cornerstone of our national effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.