Coronavirus myths: what you should know about protective equipment

There are many myths online. Here is some information to help you and your family learn more about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Do I need to wear a mask?
On April 3, 2020, the CDC released updated guidance about using cloth face covers for the public in areas of significant community based transmission. CDC now 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 reason the CDC changed its guidance is to slow the spread of the virus from people who may have the virus and do not know it, because they are not yet having symptoms.

Cloth face coverings made from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

For additional information, see CDC Recommendation on Cloth Face Coverings

Should I wear gloves to protect myself?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread by respiratory droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Most people are infected when these droplets land in their mouths or noses or if they inhale them when breathing. These droplets also land on surfaces. While it is possible to touch a contaminated surface and then touch your face, you can do that just as easily when wearing gloves. Most gloves have small holes which might allow the virus to pass onto your hands. A safer practice than wearing gloves is to frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When a sink is not available, use a hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol base.