In the earlier days of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a lot more confusion about whether people should wear masks to protect themselves and others from the virus. Here’s why recommendations have changed – even for kids and teens – and how they help keep COVID-19 in check.
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Why did the Centers for Disease Control change its guidance on wearing masks?
Initially, there were concerns that if the public were instructed to wear masks, there wouldn’t be enough surgical masks or N95 respirators for health care workers. There’s also a clearer understanding of how the coronavirus spreads, and that pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission is possible. That’s when you might be contagious but don’t know it – and might unknowingly infect someone else. So wearing a mask helps cut down the risk for everyone.
If we’re social distancing, do we still need to wear masks?
Yes – respiratory droplets carrying the virus can travel much further than 6 feet, and since we don’t always maintain 6 or more feet of distance -- it’s better to take this precaution, along with washing your hands and watching your distance when possible.