The CDC has revised its recommendation and now says that face covering with cloth is advisable for the general public.
This is a BIG change in the previous advice given. Please keep in mind that because COVID19 is a new disease, we are learning as we go along and as a result, advice and recommendations are dynamic and will evolve.
Here is a summary of why this has happened:
😷 COVID19 was initially believed to be spread by droplets and by touching contaminated surfaces only. Evidence now shows that the virus can be transmitted via aerosol and can therefore be spread even by talking.
😷 There are a significant percentage of people who are infected with COVID19 that will have few or no symptoms, but can still transmit the disease. This makes it difficult to know who should be wearing a mask and who should not.
😷Wearing a mask when you are not sick has a number of challenges because it can give a false sense of security and it causes us to touch our faces more frequently than usual which we are trying to avoid.
😷 There is a HUGE global shortage of masks for healthcare workers who are on the frontline of fighting this pandemic. Going to work in to work without the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) has been likened to a suicide mission. If we would not send soldiers into battle without bulletproof vests and helmets, then we should not send healthcare professionals to the frontlines of a pandemic without PPE.
😷 Mask wearing may cause stigma as those who wear them may be thought of as being “sick” and contagious.
😷 While there is very little evidence to show that wearing home made masks will protect from becoming infected with COVID19, it will help to reduce the amount of droplets being dispersed by people who are sick and will therefore reduce the viral load in the environment.
*PLEASE NOTE: N95 respirators and surgical masks should be reserved for medical personnel who rely on these and other essentials to protect themselves and do their jobs effectively.
This advice from the CDC is not a call for the use of these masks by the general public.
In addition, wearing a cloth face covering should not replace other efforts to reduce the spread of COVID19, including the following:
🦠 Stay home
🦠 Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water
🦠 Keep your distance from others (2 metres or more)
🦠 Sanitise surfaces
🦠 Practice good cough hygiene by covering your cough with a flexed elbow or tissue and disposing of same in a responsible way.
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