Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)  >  CDC Recommendation on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

CDC Recommendation on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

On April 3, 2020, the CDC released information about using cloth face covers for the public in areas of significant community-based transmission. See CDC Recommendation on Cloth Face Coverings. The cloth face coverings recommended by the CDC for use in public settings are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which should be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

The CDC guidance has generated questions as to Ascension’s position on this important topic. Key to controlling the spread of COVID-19 is practicing social distancing, hand hygiene, and not sharing potentially contaminated objects between persons. Face to face exposure for prolonged periods of time within a distance of six feet increases your chances of spreading or contracting COVID-19. While Ascension does not oppose persons wearing cloth face covers in public, the most important measures to reduce the risk of infection are to avoid congregating and implement social distancing. A cloth face cover may be useful for individuals with acute respiratory symptoms to reduce the risk of exposure to others.

While wearing cloth face coverings when in public may provide some with a feeling of protection, not all masks offer the same protection. We are concerned that this may result in a false sense of security and minimize addressing more essential interventions to mitigate the risk. Remember to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene, regardless if you choose to wear cloth face coverings.