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Everyone should wear a mask: What you need to know about the CDC’s new recommendation

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The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released new guidance that everyone should wear a face mask when in public to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

This is an important update to previous CDC guidance that only ill people should wear a mask, and helps to address the fact that asymptomatic infected individuals can spread the disease.

Here are the key takeaways from this new recommendation.

  1. The general public should not use surgical masks or N-95 respirators. People are urged to use homemade or purchased cloth facial coverings — preserving medical-grade mask supply for health care workers.
  2. Likewise, be aware a cloth facial covering is not a suitable replacement for medical personal protective equipment (PPE).
  3. Wearing a facial covering is not a substitute for social distancing guidelines. Social distancing protocols should still be followed while wearing a mask.
  4. Wash your hands before putting on your mask and avoid touching your face while wearing it.
  5. Wash your mask in between uses.

There are many tutorials online demonstrating how to create a facial covering from household items, including sewn and no-sew options using materials like t-shirts, scarves or cotton bandanas. Below are two CDC resources on how to make your own.

CDC tutorial: How to make a cloth face covering

CDC video: How to make your own face covering 

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