The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Friday that individuals cover their faces, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to the CDC, recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms (asymptomatic) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.
While social distancing remains important to slow the spread of the coronavirus, CDC officials advise the use of simple cloth face coverings also can help slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
Officials say the cloth face masks can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost and can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
They add the cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, because those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.