April 11, 2020

The Schaffner Report: COVID-19 Face Masks

COVID-19 Face Masks FactAs the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the recommendations regarding the use of face coverings by the general public. Citing recent studies on asymptomatic transmission, CDC now recommends that the general public wear cloth face coverings in public settings like grocery stores and pharmacies, where social distancing may be hard to maintain. In communities across the country, local officials are requiring that individuals wear face masks while out in public.

The updated CDC guidance has prompted many questions: What is the difference between a face mask and a face covering? Should individuals wear face coverings every time they leave their house? How often should homemade masks be cleaned? How long will these precautions be necessary?

In this special edition of the Schaffner Report, William Schaffner, MD, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), talks with NFID Executive Director and CEO Marla Dalton, CAE, about the rationale for the updated guidance and what the public should know about wearing face masks:

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