The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidelines for face masks as the supply for N95 masks keeps dropping and the coronavirus epidemic keeps growing.
Homemade Masks Approved!
The CDC, the US authority on dealing with COVID- 19, reverses its previous stance on face masks, now including homemade face coverings. As an additional measure, cloth coverings are now being recommended due to the short supply of N95 masks, which would be better off left for health care workers.
“CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission,” -Statement by the CDC
The agency also recommends not hoarding or buying medical or surgical-grade masks for personal use, and to instead leave the N95 masks for health care workers. Cloth or fabric coverings can also be washed and reused, although the CDC stressed the importance of combining the new guideline with all the previous measures like self-quarantine, disinfection, and social distancing.
Before the nationwide recommendation was made by the agency, NYC and Los Angeles had already started to advocate the use of homemade masks due to the shortage of face masks, which are essential to those on the frontline and maybe not so much for non-infected persons.
Many are also supporting and encouraging those who have N95 masks on hand to donate them to hospitals or health care facilities nearby.
Although homemade coverings and masks are certainly less effective at protecting you than medical-grade masks, N95 masks and the like are way more useful in a medical setting, where health care workers are caring for people infected with the virus.