The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) released new COVID-19 guidance to restate the importance of wearing masks outdoors, and in some situations indoors within a household. The agency explained that it released its new guidance after studies revealed that wearing masks could prevent the transmission of the coronavirus since 50% of transmission cases is done by people who have shown no symptoms of the disease.
On Thursday, a day before the new guidance was released, the United States recorded the highest COVID deaths, since the pandemic began, with 3,100 Americans losing their lives to the infectious disease in that day only. The agency advised that wearing masks at all times, except for impossible situations such as when a mask wearer wants to eat or drink, could stop the spread of the virus adequately enough that things will slowly begin to return to normal.
“There is adequate evidence that supports that cloth masks can help prevent the transmission of the virus from people who are infected to others,” the CDC wrote. “Wearing masks can also protect someone who has not been infected though not as much as it stops infected people from transmitting the virus.”
The CDC also advised members of the public to observe other COVID-19 protocols such as physical distancing, reducing traveling especially to COVID hotspots, and avoiding crowded places. The agency calls on communities to work harder at conducting COVID-19 tests, releasing test results early, and embarking on immediate contact tracing efforts in confirmed cases. The agency warned that the new figures show that the country has reached a high-level transmission phase.
The agency places “universal wearing of face masks” as the first measure on the new guidance list. The agency explains that face masks should be made top priorities when one is in an indoor space or an outdoor space where it would be impossible to stay at least 6 feet away from the next person. The report states that masks can be removed when a person is at home. If a member of a household s infected, the agency advises that masks should be worn at all times.
“Consistently and correctly wearing face masks can help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV2,” the CDC added. “This is supported by a study which revealed that about 50% of transmission spreads from people who show no symptoms.”
The agency continued in its summary of the report that studies have revealed that household transmission is the highest form of transmission that has been recorded in the United States, as such, family members of people who have been confirmed positive should also consistently and correctly wear face masks. The masks need not be N95 respirators, according to the agency, as multilayered cloth masks and disposable masks have proven to be effective.
Mask mandate has still not been adopted in all states of the United States as some governors such as Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida have still not mandated residents to wear masks. The situation is however better than it was a few months ago with many governors who earlier refused to impose a mask mandate in their states issuing the mandate last month.