CDC: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

“SARS-CoV-2 infection is transmitted predominately by respiratory droplets generated when people cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe. CDC recommends community use of masks, specifically non-valved multi-layer cloth masks, to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Masks are primarily intended to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets (“source control”), which is especially relevant for asymptomatic or presymptomatic infected wearers who feel well and may be unaware of their infectiousness to others, and who are estimated to account for more than 50% of transmissions.  Masks also help reduce inhalation of these droplets by the wearer (“filtration for personal protection”). The community benefit of masking for SARS-CoV-2 control is due to the combination of these effects; individual prevention benefit increases with increasing numbers of people using masks consistently and correctly.

The above statement from CDC on November 10, 2020 comes from Scientific Brief: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2.  I’ve bolded, italicized and underlined the purpose of this blog.  The CDC update of its mask guidance on November 12, 2020 drives home that point as well:

A cloth mask also offers some protection to you too. How well it protects you from breathing in the virus likely depends on the fabrics used and how your mask is made (e.g. the type of fabric, the number of layers of fabric, how well the mask fits). CDC is currently studying these factors.

Share this information with your colleagues, family and friends and the community you live in.  Be a part of the solution.  Healthcare workers are on the front lines caring for COVID-19 patients.  HCWs should also be on the front line when it comes to education as to how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.   Use your voice.  Show by example.  We all need to do our part to get this virus under control!!  

Mask up people – inside your workplace as well as out in public.