The Coronavirus has now spread across nearly the entire United States of America. The number of cases has continued to rise with over 200,000 positive patients, while more than 7,000 deaths have been recorded so far in the US. Due to the alarming increase, the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now promoting the use of face masks in households. Unfortunately, you can't just go out and buy any face mask that you want in the store.
CDC Coronavitus Tip: Wear face masks--but not N95 masks; Here's why
If you're a staying at home, you are currently recommended to wear "cloth face coverings" to protect yourself from getting the virus. This is the newest released guideline from the US CDC after the number of COVID-19 cases in the country haved continued to increase.
As announced by the US Surgeon General Jerome Adams in a press conference at the White House, "The CDC is additionally advising simple cloth coverings to help people who may have the virus and do not know it to keep from transmitting to others."
Reports of asymptomatic cases have also worried the agency. This is the main reason why they now promote the use of face masks, contrary to what they first advised before. In March, the agency recommended that only sick people or those who are confirmed to be positive COVID-19 patients must wear a face mask to prevent them from spreading the virus even more. Circumstances have now changed.
Americans are even suggested to make homemade face masks to help lessen the shortage of N95 or surgical masks in the stores, which are meant for those in the medical profession.
Although its okay to wear masks, CDC does not want you to hoard N95 masks
Though CDC already promotes face coverings for each citizen going out of their house, the agency reiterates that hoarding face masks is not a solution to the problem.
In fact, the agency said that citizens must not buy N95 masks; these are for health workers only. The supply of N95 masks in the US, according to Vox, has decreased due to the increased demand brought by the pandemic. An estimated 12 million N95 respirators and 30 million surgical masks are now available, but that number is still not enough for all health workers in the country.
The shortage has forced many health practitioners in the field to reuse their masks going against safety protocols.
Staying-at-home is still the best precautionary measure
If you have nothing important to do outside, do not go out of your home. According to the CDC, this is still the best preventive measure that everyone is required to do. The importance of social distancing and regular washing of hands is are two of the best things everyone can do to stop the spread of the virus.