The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that Americans wear masks when they go out to ward against the spread of the coronavirus. On Wednesday the CDC issued guidance for cloth masks, which many Americans are making themselves to protect against the virus.
The CDC said that a cloth mask should fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face. The mask should be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.
“CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission,” the CDC wrote in a statement. “CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.”
The CDC cautioned that cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The CDC says that cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing the mask the CDC warned.
Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R) said on social media, “I’m wearing my mask today to make sure I’m doing my part to protect others. If you have to go out for essential work or supplies, make sure and wear a mask. Numbers are looking better in Alabama, everyone continue to do their part to flatten the curve. We can do this Alabama!!!”
Trump national finance committee member former State Representative Perry O. Hooper Jr. (R-Montgomery) said that Congress should provide masks to all Americans as part of the next coronavirus relief bill.
“Experts are now in agreement. Everyone wearing a mask in public can reduce the spread of this deadly disease,” Hooper told the Alabama Political Reporter. “We should make available for all Americans a sterile reusable mask. Funds should be made available at the state level so Governors and Mayors could decide how best to distribute these masks on the local level.”
The U.S. has 435,160 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 14,797 Americans have died in the global pandemic, including 67 Alabamians. 22,891 Americans have recovered from their illness.
Projections showing hundreds of thousands of Americans dying have been revised dramatically lower. Americans are urged to continue to practice social distancing.