President Donald Trump on Friday asked Americans to cover their faces when leaving their houses, in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The measure had been anticipated on Thursday The Washington Post.
The recommendations would reach at least those who live in areas heavily affected by community transmission of the disease caused by COVID-19. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio already made the same suggestion Thursday night (local time).
“It is a covering of the face. It can be a scarf. It may be something that you make yourself at home. It can be a bandanaDe Blasio said in contact with journalists. However, he discouraged the use of chinstraps, ensuring that they are needed by medical personnel.
A person familiar with the White House working group’s discussion of the coronavirus said officials would suggest wearing chinstraps, T-shirts, or bandanas to cover the nose and mouth when away from home; for example, at the grocery store or pharmacy. Medical grade masks, particularly short-lived N95 masks, would be reserved for those who deal directly with the sick.
Asked about the recommendation in his daily press conference to provide information on efforts against the epidemic, Trump said: “I think they are going to announce regulations on that. I don’t think it’s mandatory. If people want to use them, they can do it. If they want to wear scarves, they can and have. In many cases it is better because they are thicker. A recommendation is on the way, we will see what it says ”.
Trump had already indicated Tuesday that he would support such a recommendation, even for all Americans regardless of where they live. “I would say do it, but wear a scarf if you want, you know, instead of going out and getting a mask or whatever,” he said, adding: “It’s not a bad idea, at least for a period of time. “
A draft of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guideline would make the coverage recommendation apply to almost all Americans across the country, according to a federal official who has seen the draft but was not authorized to comment.
In view of this new information, along with evidence of widespread transmission in communities around the country, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that the community wear face masks as an additional public health measure that can be taken to prevent the transmission of the virus, ”reads a paragraph from the document obtained by the US media.
Exceptions would be children under the age of two, anyone who is having trouble breathing, or anyone who cannot remove the cover without help.
According to the agency AP, officials were still discussing this Thursday whether to limit its geographical scope.
The previous recommendations only recommended the use of masks to patients or those who were at high risk of complications from respiratory disease. The new proposal is based on research showing that some infections were spread by people who appeared to be healthy.
On Wednesday, Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles urged the 4 million residents of his city to wear masks when they are in public.
In response to recent studies, the CDC on Wednesday changed the way it defined the risk of infection for Americans. Essentially it says that anyone can be considered a carrier, whether they have symptoms or not.
The virus is spread mainly through cough drops or sneezes, although experts stress that the germ is still not fully understood.
American officials have been telling people to stay home as much as possible, and to stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others when they leave. Other tips include washing your hands frequently and not touching your face. But Until now, federal officials have not told people to cover their faces in public.
Scientists cannot rule out that infected people sometimes breathe out particles of the COVID-19 virus, rather than just by coughing or sneezing, but there is not enough evidence to show whether that can cause the infection, according to a committee convened by the Academies. National Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to advise the White House.
The question has to do with whether the new coronavirus is spread mainly by droplets that do not stay in the air long, or also by smaller “aerosol” particles. Certain medical procedures, such as inserting breathing tubes, can create these tiny particles, making healthcare workers wear tight-fitting N95 masks during that care.
For his part, The World Health Organization (WHO) reiterated on Monday its advice that the general population does not need to wear face masks unless they are sick.. Since the epidemic began in China, the WHO has said that the masks are for the sick and the people who care for them.
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