As our understanding of the virus increases and more data comes from China, the CDC is reportedly weighing recommendations on people wearing face masks to help protect themselves from coronavirus.

There is no consensus yet on the status of face masks recommendations and whether they would make a difference. Some experts worry masks could give a false sense of health or safety. The government does not yet recommend it. President Trump was asked at a briefing on March 30 whether everyone should be wearing non-medical masks, “That’s certainly something we could discuss. It could be something like that for a limited period of time.”

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Some experts recommend wearing non-hospital grade or even homemade masks to reduce the chance of transmission. Thomas Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, believes the CDC should be recommending non-medical masks, he said, “I think it would be a prudent step we can all take to reduce transmission.” Other experts say hand-washing and social distancing are what we should be focusing on and continuing to do.

Ilhem Messaoudi, a University of California at Irvine epidemiologist, told the Washington Post in an email, ” Given the shortage of PPE available to our healthcare workforce, it is irresponsible for anyone to suggest that we should all don masks, reducing the supply for nurses and physicians who do not have the luxury of treating symptomatic, very sick patients from 6 feet away.”

Until the CDC says otherwise, continue handwashing, keeping precautions and social distancing. We will update this as more information becomes available.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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