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

CDC Covid Community Map Levels as of May 18th, 2022. (Credit: CDC)...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Summit County is considered ‘medium risk’ for COVID-19 by the CDC

The CDC list Summit County as the only "yellow" risk county in Utah for COVID-19, breaking Utah's all green risk status. 
2 days ago
(Adobe Stock)...
ZEKE MILLER and MIKE STOBBE, Associated Press

Officials say more areas of US may see mask recommendations

U.S. officials say the COVID-19 pandemic could get worse in the U.S. with the possibility of mask advisories returning.
2 days ago
The lawn of Timpanogos Regional Hospital was adorned with flags to honor the lives lost to COVID-19...
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Hospital ceremony honors survivors, healthcare heroes as U.S. hits one million COVID-19 deaths

The lawn of Timpanogos Regional Hospital was adorned with flags to honor the lives lost to COVID-19, those who survived it, and the caregivers and healthcare workers who cared for the sick.
3 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)...
LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer

FDA clears COVID booster shot for healthy kids ages 5 to 11

U.S. regulators have authorized a COVID-19 vaccine booster for healthy children ages 5 to 11.
3 days ago
...
Ladd Egan, KSL TV

Mixed results for food drive while demand for assistance stays high

After a two-year break because of the pandemic, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive returned on Saturday with mixed results.
4 days ago
The Conference Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City for a yo...
Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Young adults pack Conference Center, overflow seating with largest crowds since pandemic

Thousands gathered at the Conference Center and overflow seating in Temple Square for a big event that hasn’t taken place with this many people in-person, since before the start of the pandemic.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
CDC: A Cloth Face Mask Protects You And Everyone Around You