WASHINGTON – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance Friday, recommending the use of cloth face coverings in public.
The coronavirus can be transmitted by people through speaking, coughing or sneezing – even by those who aren’t exhibiting symptoms. The CDC previously recommended that only people experiencing symptoms should wear masks.
The CDC said the new evidence about asymptomatic transmission prompted their change in policy.
Masks should be worn in “public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission,” according to a CDC news release.
Cloth face coverings can be ordered or “made at home from common materials at low cost.”
When asked during a White House briefing Friday, President Donald Trump said he would not be wearing a face covering.
“I just don’t want to wear one myself. It’s just a recommendation,” Trump told a reporter. “I don’t know, somehow I just don’t see it for myself.”
CDC officials are warning that cloth face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing. People wearing cloth masks should wash their hands before putting it on their face, a CDC official said during the press conference.