CDC Weighs Urging Healthy People To Cover Their Faces With Cloth When Outside

A woman wearing a scarf over her face sits in a subway car at Grand Central Terminal on March 12, 2020 in New York City.(Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
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March 31, 2020 8:52 a.m.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reportedly considering new guidelines urging people to cover their faces with scarves or any other cloth item from home when venturing outside as a protective measure against the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that CDC experts are in talks about the new potential guidelines, per an unnamed official, though no final decision has been made on the subject. A second official said the move would boost health experts’ efforts to “flatten the curve,” which currently involves putting an emphasis on social distancing.

Under those guidelines, the CDC would still maintain its position on social distancing while discouraging healthy people who do not work in health care from using surgical masks due to the fact that such masks only serve to protect users from infecting others and does not shield the user from airborne particles.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned last month that not only are the masks ineffective for those attempting to ward off infection, purchasing them en masse leaves fewer in supply for health care workers who actually need them.

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