The White House may urge Americans to begin wearing cloth masks or face coverings in public. It will help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The announcement may come as early as Thursday.
White House coronavirus task force officials are considering to recommend face coverings routinely worn in public. This is because of increasing evidence that ill people without symptoms can spread the virus. As per internal memos and new guidance presented to the White House.
“In light of these new data, along with evidence of widespread transmission in communities across the country. CDC recommends the community use of cloth masks as an additional public health measure. That people can take to prevent the spread of the virus to those around them,” according to the guidance.
The recommendations describe a major change in official CDC guidance that healthy people don’t need masks or face coverings. The memos and direction make clear the coverings under discussion are not medical masks. Such as N95 respirators or surgical face masks, which are in demand by front-line health-care workers and are in extremely short supply. Reserving those for the health workers is of high importance.
The CDC recently outlines the memos and guidance. Information is pass to administrators at the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House coronavirus task force. For consideration of masks as a further measure to slow the pandemic.
Simple cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose can limit virus transmission from infected individuals. But have no symptoms when they are out buying groceries, the guidance states. It makes clear the cloth wrapping is to protect the wearer. But to counter the spread of the virus from the wearer to others.
It notes that face coverings can be made at home at a cheap cost. The face coverings should not be practiced on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance, the guidance states.
A CDC report last week on asymptomatic infections among residents at a skilled nursing facility in the Seattle area. It found that of 23 residents who examined positive for the novel coronavirus, 13 were asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic on the day of testing.
Infectious-disease experts state asymptomatic transportation may be playing a larger role in the outbreak. But just how big remains unknown. Studies are advancing at the CDC and elsewhere to better understand such transmission.