President Trump just announced that the CDC is now advising all Americans to wear face masks in public.
Up until today it was recommended that only people already sick with the coronavirus needed to wear masks to prevent spreading the virus to others. But that all just changed.
New data suggests that the virus can be spread by breathing alone, not just by coughing or sneezing.
The CDC's new guideline reflects concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms.
More from the LA Times:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines Friday recommending that the public voluntarily wear a non-medical basic cloth or fabric mask that can be either purchased online or simply made at home.
“The transmission from individuals without symptoms is playing a more significant role in the spread of the virus than previously understood,” President Trump said when announcing the guidelines at a White House briefing. “So you don’t seem to have symptoms and it still gets transferred.”
He emphasized that the announcement did not replace rules on social distancing, and he said the government was not recommending medical grade masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers.
Public health officials are still encouraging people to reserve N95 masks for front-line doctors.
A good option many people are turning to is the KN95 mask, which is an alternative to the N95 mask. Up until just yesterday they have been unavailable as well, but people can now get them online in the U.S.. You can check online availability of the KN95 masks here (as of Friday evening they still have some in stock).
The CDC said people can also make their own masks out of cloth.
Several states have now begun to issue similar guidelines, telling everybody who lives in the state to cover their mouth and nose when outside the home.
I want to reiterate one final time what Trump said, and that is that the mask is not a substitute for social distancing, it is recommended in addition to previous guidelines set forth.
Hope you all have a blessed weekend and stay safe.