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Should I wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Yes. Up to 25 percent of people infected with the novel coronavirus may not exhibit symptoms, and could be able to spread COVID-19 to others by breathing or talking. Furthermore, those who are infected and who are coughing or sneezing can spread COVID-19 readily. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that, in addition to staying as far away from one another as possible, we should all wear masks, regardless of how healthy we may be feeling, especially in enclosed spaces like grocery stores or pharmacies. This will help prevent us from unknowingly spreading the disease to others, and provide a limited degree of protection from contracting the virus from others.

There is currently a shortage of manufactured masks like N95 respirator and surgical masks, and these should go to healthcare providers, who are at highest risk of becoming infected, first.

It is very important to learn how to safely put on, wear, and take off masks. To learn how to make your own mask, use it safely, and clean it well, please visit this resource.

Drafted 6 April 2020