Everyone is tired of masking up, but now is not the time to let down your guard.
Wearing a mask, even though we now have COVID-19 vaccines, helps to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance on wearing masks this week. Some of the information remains the same. That includes:
- Everyone 2 years old and older should wear masks in public.
- Masks should be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart, especially around people who don’t live with you.
New guidance includes:
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on your mask.
- Wear your mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
- Fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face, slipping the loops over your ears or tying the strings behind your head.
- If you have to continually adjust your mask, that means it doesn’t fit properly. You should find a different mask type or brand.
- Make sure you can breathe easily.
- Store your used mask safely to keep it clean between uses.
- Wash your cloth mask regularly, preferably in a washing machine.
Why should you wear a mask?
Masks are critical because they provide a barrier that keeps respiratory droplets from spreading. These can be droplets from several viruses, including flu.
The CDC states that droplets travel into the air when you cough, sneeze, talk, shout or sing. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are near you or they may breathe these droplets in. Yuck.
The CDC recommends wearing two- or three-layer masks made from tightly woven cotton. If you wear a single-use disposal mask, make sure to wear it only once and then properly dispose of it.
You may not want to wear a mask if you don’t feel sick. But you should. Many people with COVID-19 never develop symptoms. They are considered asymptomatic. Some people have COVID-19 and haven’t yet shown symptoms. This is pre-symptomatic. Both asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people can spread the virus.
Keep masking up!