Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing a cloth mask has become a wardrobe staple for most Americans. The CDC recommends them to prevent spread of the virus, especially for those who may be asymptomatic, carrying the virus without realizing it. Many retailers are selling non-medical masks, and many are touting masks with extra protection like insertable filters, which have become more popular — they can help further minimize airborne particulate. And, of course, masks are expanding into various styles, including face masks for kids and an entire universe of handmade face masks on Etsy. Another popular mask trend? Antimicrobial masks. Major retailers like Amazon and Etsy are selling antimicrobial masks — even biotechnology companies have even gotten in on the trend.
In Harris County, a mask order is in place that requires both employees and customers over the age of 10 to wear a face covering inside of businesses. With the new requirement, ABC13 asked Dr. Stacey Rose of Baylor College of Medicine which masks should people be wearing and how should they be worn to ensure effectiveness.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced face coverings will be mandatory in public, both indoors and outdoors when it’s impossible to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others.
Mask wearing has become a topic of fierce debate in the United States. People opposed to mask mandates have staged protests, and one local health official in Orange County, Calif., quit her job after receiving a death threat for a mask order. Not long after, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered Californians to wear face coverings in public.
It appears face masks are here to stay. The New York Times surveyed 511 epidemiologists and more than half of them predicted masks will be necessary for at least the next year, if not longer.
The new coronavirus spreads mainly via airborne transmission and wearing a mask is the most effective way to stop person-to person spread, according to a new study. A team of researchers in Texas and California compared Covid-19 infection rate trends in Italy and New York both before and after face masks were made mandatory. Both locations started to see infection rates flatten only after mandatory face mask measures were put in place, according to the study published Thursday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
The discourse around wearing face masks has been confusing, to say the least: Back in February—when COVID-19 was still mainly confined to China, with just a few travel-based US cases—the CDC recommended face masks and respirators only for those in the health care industry who were coming into contact with potential cases. But after that, things changed: The novel coronavirus began sweeping across the US, and in April, the CDC started recommending the general public to wear cloth face masks for when social distancing wasn't an option.