The developing epidemic of coronavirus, which results in COVID-19, means that government guidelines are frequently changing. Countries are gradually experimenting with more freedoms that reduce issues with things like social distancing and isolation.
As the number of new COVID-19 cases decreases, some locations are beginning to soften lockdown rules. People are returning to work and getting more opportunities to visit places like salons, restaurants, and stores.
But these changes are driving some confusion around the continued demand for face masks and whether coverings are still necessary.
Crucially, even as countries re-open various industries to the public, face masks remain an essential way for people to fight the pandemic. The CDC, WHO, and other agencies continue to recommend that people should find appropriate face masks to wear during COVID-19 when in public settings.
Who Needs to Wear Face Masks?
According to the CDC, all people above the age of two must wear at least a cloth face-covering in public settings. It is possible for people who don’t exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms to carry the coronavirus.
This is why it’s so crucial for everyone to wear cloth face coverings – no matter whether they feel well or not.
In the rare circumstances where a face covering is not feasible, people are encouraged to take other steps to protect against the virus.
For instance, people who are deaf or hard of hearing and need to use lip-reading to communicate should consider using written communication or clear face masks. Face masks are not recommended for people with breathing difficulties and children under the age of two. These people should continue to self-isolate and social distance when possible.
The best face masks for Covid-19 protection are the N95 respirators and the surgical-grade masks available in the healthcare industries. However, access to these masks is limited. Because of this, most governments agree that surgical masks are necessary only in healthcare environments and in other critical cases.
For most people, a cloth face covering is enough to act as a barrier of prevention, stopping respiratory droplets from traveling into the air as you talk, sneeze, or cough. These cloth face masks are available from numerous online and offline retailers.
Additionally, many people are learning how to make their own masks when commercial options aren’t available.
Are Face Shields Necessary?
In some circumstances, face shields and surgical respirators can be extremely helpful at protecting against COVID-19. However, these accessories won’t be necessary for everyone.
Cloth face coverings aren’t the same as respirators or surgical masks.
Currently, surgical masks and respirators must be reserved for medical professionals and healthcare workers, according to CDC guidance. It is not certain at this time whether face shields provide any significant benefit as a way to protect people from the spread of respiratory particles. The CDC and other healthcare groups don’t recommend the use of face shields.
Although people may choose to use a face shield when exposed to regular contact with other people, they should not be a replacement for cloth coverings. Wearing a face shield will not provide the same protection against the spread of coronavirus as adequate face masks.
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