CORONAVIRUS

CDC: A Cloth Face Mask Protects You And Everyone Around You

Nov 11, 2020, 8:02 PM
The CDC is released updated mask guidance as researchers learn more about COVID-19. (KSL TV)...
The CDC is released updated mask guidance as researchers learn more about COVID-19. (KSL TV)
(KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Officials with the Centers for Disease Control are alerting Americans that wearing a mask not only protects people around the wearer from the spread of COVID-19, but it protects the person wearing the mask, too.

As part of the new guidance released Tuesday, the CDC said adopting universal masking policies can help states avoid future lockdowns.

“Adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns, especially if combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, hand hygiene and adequate ventilation,” CDC officials said.

Gov. Gary Herbert took that step for Utah earlier this week.

But if you’re already wearing a mask when you should, an infectious disease doctor with Intermountain Healthcare said you should continue wearing it.

“It is more data that really shows that if two people are wearing a mask, and one of them has COVID, and they’re in proximity with one another, you can significantly reduce the risk to both of them,” said Dr. Todd Vento.

The infectious disease doctor said updated guidance is coming out now because knowledge about the virus has evolved with new studies.

“Now, they’ve got enough information to where they have data to support that it goes both ways,” said Vento. “I can protect you from me wearing it, and I can protect myself from me wearing it.“

The CDC reports cloth masks can block virus particles exhaled by the person wearing the mask as well as block incoming infectious droplets from others. This update followed several studies that showed wearing cloth masks can reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 70%.

“Try not to be within six feet of folks, and if you are, put on a mask,” Vento said, reinforcing the fact that social distancing and regular handwashing are also critical.

He said we should wear a mask whenever we are with anyone from a different household. That’s also part of the updated emergency order from our state.

If you take politics out of the mix, here’s the bottom line on masks: “They work,” said Vento. “If everyone has it on: you have it on and I have it on, I could markedly decrease — it won’t go down to zero — but it will markedly decrease the risk of me, or you, transmitting the virus.”

This is especially important because as many as 40% of COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic, so we won’t always know when the virus is around us.

“Even more reason to just put the mask on,” said Vento.


Coronavirus Resources

Have you or a family member been affected by coronavirus issues in Utah? KSL wants to hear from you. Contact KSL by emailing social@ksl.com.

What is COVID-19? Here’s What You Need To Know To Stay Healthy

The latest coronavirus stories from KSL can be found here.

Where in the world has the coronavirus already appeared? See the map.

Your Life Your Health: How parents can prepare their home, children against coronavirus.

How do I prevent it?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

RSV and flu...
Deidre McPhillips, CNN

Flu season intensifies, holiday gatherings could make it worse

Americans gathered for Thanksgiving last week amid a flu season that's worse than any has been in more than a decade, and experts continue to urge caution as multiple respiratory viruses circulate at high levels nationwide.
1 day ago
Protesters hold up blank papers and chant slogans as they march in protest in Beijing, Sunday, Nov....
Jessie Yeung and CNN's Beijing bureau

Rare protests are spreading across China. Here’s what you need to know

From Shanghai to Beijing, protests have erupted across China in a rare show of dissent against the ruling Communist Party.
1 day ago
Police officers block Shanghai's Urumqi Road on Sunday. (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)...
CNN's Beijing bureau and Nectar Gan

Protests erupt across China in unprecedented challenge to Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid policy

Protests erupted across China throughout the weekend, including at universities and in Shanghai where hundreds chanted "Step down, Xi Jinping! Step down, Communist Party!"
2 days ago
Salt Lake City Police at the University of Utah Hospital due to a possible bomb threat. (Salt Lake ...
Michael Houck

Police: Unattended bag led to bomb squad response at U of U Hospital

Salt Lake City Police responded to a possible bomb threat at the University of Utah hospital Tuesday afternoon.
14 days ago
Evusheld...
Elizabeth Cohen and Naomi Thomas, CNN

COVID-19 medicine for immunocompromised patients is losing effectiveness

Judy Salins considers herself a smart, empowered patient, but until this week, she had no idea that the medicine she takes to defend herself against Covid-19 isn't protecting her as well as it used to.
18 days ago
Paxlovid, the antiviral pill that reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19, also...
Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN

Paxlovid reduces risk of long Covid, Veterans Affairs study finds

Paxlovid, the antiviral pill that reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19, also reduces the risk of long Covid, according to a new study by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
CDC: A Cloth Face Mask Protects You And Everyone Around You