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CDC (officially) calls on all Americans to wear masks to stop COVID-19

‘We are not defenseless against COVID-19,’ said CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield

Men wearing protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic exit a Walmart, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Walpole, Mass. An executive order signed the previous week by Gov. Charlie Baker took effect Wednesday mandating the use of masks when individuals are not able to socially distance themselves from others.
Men wearing protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic exit a Walmart on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Walpole, Mass.
Steven Senne, Associated Press

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially called on all Americans to wear face masks and coverings to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus — particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, the CDC said that it reviewed recent studies on the spread of COVID-19 and found that “cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight” against the coronavirus.

The CDC said, “There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.”

The CDC highlighted two recent studies on a pair of news stories related to the spread of COVID-19. The first focused on two hair stylists in Missouri, who — despite having COVID-19 — did not pass on the disease, ABC News reports.

A second story focused on how a Boston hospital system slowed the spread while adding a face mask policy. In fact, diagnosis in staff dropped by half after the hospital required masks for all, WBUR reports.

“When we first began our universal masking policy, we had 12 to 14 new infections per day among our health care workers,” Brigham and Women’s epidemiologist Dr. Michael Klompas told WBUR. “And then after we instituted employee masking, that number dropped down to around eight.”