If you have not been vaccinated, you should still wear a well-fitted mask in public settings. Even if you are up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a mask if you are in a community where COVID-19 cases are straining local hospitals.
Guidance that changes over time or differs by state or by county can be confusing. Wearing a mask can help maximize protection from circulating variants and can help prevent spreading the virus to others. COVID-19 is still circulating, causing illness, hospitalizations, and deaths.
You should wear a mask:
- indoors in public depending on the COVID-19 level in your community
- in schools (K-12) in communities with a high COVID-19 level
- if you or someone close to you has a weakened immune system or is at high risk for severe illness
- when you are sick, or caring for someone who is sick
- if you wish to, based on personal preference and personal risk
- where required by laws, rules, regulations, or local guidance
Layered prevention strategies — like staying up to date on vaccines and wearing masks — can help prevent severe illness and reduce strain on the healthcare system. It is also important to continue to wash hands frequently, cover coughs/sneezes, and stay home when sick.
If you wear a mask, be sure to follow these dos and don’ts:
|Do wear a mask that fits snuggly from nose to chin||Don’t wear your mask below the nose, around your neck, or on your forehead|
|Do wear a face mask in public around others who do not live in your household||Don’t stop social distancing (stay at least 6 feet apart)|
|Do stay at least 6 feet apart from others in public||Don’t take your mask off in public if you are within 6 feet of others|
|Do wash your hands frequently||Don’t touch your mask more than necessary|
|Do wear a mask consistently and correctly to stop respiratory droplets from getting inside or escaping from your mask||Don’t use a single-layer cloth mask or other loose-fitting mask|
Reviewed March 2022
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about COVID-19 vaccines for children
NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD, offers practical communication advice based on 4 core principles outlined in the NFID consensus report, COVID-19 Communications: Promoting Prevention Measures and Vaccine Confidence …
Share these social media graphics on communications principles and strategies to help #StopTheSpread of COVID-19