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To mask up or not to mask up? CDC says cloth coverings are the way to go to help stop the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus

For weeks, we were being told masks are unnecessary amid the coronavirus crisis. Now, we're hearing different advice. What's the right answer?

MAINE, USA — Should you wear a mask out in public? It’s a question on the minds of many caught at the divide on whether it will help or hurt in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

For weeks, officials have urged community members to avoid buying masks, saying doing this robs healthcare workers of desperately needed protective wear at the front lines. 

Now, we're hearing a different message, seeing the potential benefits masks could have for the average person.

The CDC is now recommending that you do wear a mask when going out in public, they're recommending that most people wear a cloth mask.

The CDC is offering suggestions on how to make homemade cloth face coverings. 

"The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance," says the CDC's website.

Credit: CDC

Wearing a cloth face-covering can prevent the spread of COVID-19. "Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public," to help prevent those that are more susceptible to the virus from getting sick.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.newscentermaine.com/coronavirus.

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Printer friendly versionpdf icon Face coverings should- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face be secured with ties or ear loops include multiple layers of fabric allow for breathing without restriction be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings 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.