82ºF

Are babies supposed to wear face coverings? (No). Why do we need these now? Your mask questions, answered

And yes, you still need to keep 6 feet away from one another

Michael Straumieitis hands out masks during the Humanity Heroes Los Angeles Face Mask Distribution on April 7, 2020.
Michael Straumieitis hands out masks during the Humanity Heroes Los Angeles Face Mask Distribution on April 7, 2020. (2020 Getty Images)

In case you missed it, health officials are now recommending that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings, for example, in spots where it might be difficult to maintain social distancing.

“We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms -- and that even those who eventually develop symptoms, can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote on its website. “This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity -- speaking, coughing, or sneezing -- even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.”

So if you truly can’t avoid a trip to the grocery store or the pharmacy, prepare to find some sort of covering.

The CDC posted an FAQs page on its website as well, which we thought was worth sharing:


We’ll paraphrase this first question ...

But as for WHY we need coverings now, the CDC said, essentially, it’s become more important than ever to protect people around you -- like if you’re infected but don’t have symptoms.

When do you need to wear the covering?

Whenever you’re in a community setting, especially in situations where you may be near people. (Again, think grocery stores and pharmacies).

Just keep in mind: “These face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing. Cloth face coverings are especially important to wear in public in areas of widespread COVID-19 illness.”

Got it.

So, do you still need to keep 6 feet of distance?

Yes -- that hasn’t changed.

Wearing cloth face coverings is an additional public health measure.

The CDC is still swearing by social distancing, frequent hand-washing and all the other preventative measures you hear and read about.

What type of covering are we talking about?

“Cloth face coverings can be made from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost,” the CDC said.

Here’s a video:

Who should NOT wear a covering?

Young children under the age of 2, along with anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.

Why these instead of medical-grade face masks?

Surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply and should be reserved for health care workers or other medical first responders, the CDC said.


Any more questions? Drop them in the comments and we’ll try to track down an answer.


About the Author: