The CDC now says that all people should wear nonmedical face coverings when interactive with other during the coronavirus pandemic. But how do those differ from medical-grade face masks?
Face masks have become a hotly debated topic in the time of the coronavirus pandemic. Fears over developing COVID-19, the respiratory illness the virus causes, led people to hoard masks earlier this year, leading to significant shortages for medical workers. Major health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the WHO, have urged people up to only use masks if they are ill, so as not to spread the virus to others, or if you are a health care provider.
That wisdom still stands, but the CDC released new guidelines on April 3 recommending everyone in the US wear nonmedical face coverings outside the home. This recommendation is voluntary and does not replace current social distancing and hygiene measures. Prior to the CDC's announcement, New York City, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and the state of Colorado advised residents to use face coverings when leaving the house.