“The more people wearing masks, the better.” As our daily lives with the coronavirus pandemic continue, the physicians and staff of Southern Cancer Center remind you to MASK UP within your local community.
COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or raises their voice (e.g., while shouting, chanting or singing). These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms (are “asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (are “pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Why It Is Important To Wear a Mask?
Masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a mask will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g., in stores and restaurants). Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when masks are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
Who Should Wear a Mask?
- The CDC recommends all people 2 years of age and older wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected. That’s why it’s important for everyone to wear masks in public settings and practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people).
- While masks are strongly encouraged to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recognizes there are specific instances when wearing a mask may not be feasible. Examples include, people who are deaf or hard of hearing and rely on lipreading to communicate; those with mental health conditions or sensory sensitivities; preschool or early elementary-aged children who may not be able to wear a mask for an extended period of time; those engaging in high-intensity physical activity; and those with other health conditions as advised by their doctor.