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Patients wearing face masks and personal protective equipment wait on line for COVID-19 testing outside Elmhurst Hospital Center, Friday, March 27, 2020, in New York. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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Here’s What Health Experts Say About Face Masks

Patients wearing face masks and personal protective equipment wait on line for COVID-19 testing outside Elmhurst Hospital Center, Friday, March 27, 2020, in New York. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(CNN) — Should you or shouldn’t you wear a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s what health organizations and top experts say.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The organization recommends that if you are not sick, “you do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick.” However, if you are sick, “You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office,” the CDC said.

The World Health Organization: WHO is standing by its recommendation to only wear a mask if you are sick or caring for someone who is sick. “Mask wearing by the general public is not among the WHO’s recommendations,” the organization said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy: Moments ago, he said masks should not be used as a substitute for social distancing, but rather can be used as a supplement. “Because of some recent information that the virus can actually be spread even when people just speak as opposed to coughing and sneezing, the better part of valor is that when you’re out and you can’t maintain that six-foot distance to wear some sort of facial covering.” has said that the White House Task Force is actively discussing guidelines on masks.

CNN’s Sanjay Gupta: He explained that masks could help people who have coronavirus but not have symptoms from spreading the virus. “The way to think about this mask issue is that it’s not really, still, for people who are not infected. This is more for people who might be infected and don’t know it, and to try and lower the likelihood that they will spread this to somebody else.” He stressed that social distancing is the best best way to fight the spread of coronavirus, and said that N95 respirators should be reserved for health care workers.

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