ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The question whether or not to wear a mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been debated a lot recently among officials, but as of Friday, it’s been settled.
The CDC is now recommending Americans wear masks to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
President Donald Trump announced the revised guideline Friday.
Still, the president said he can’t see himself wearing a mask.
“You can do it. You don’t have to do it. I’m choosing not to do it, but some people may want to do it, and that’s okay. It may be good. Probably will. They’re making a recommendation. It’s only a recommendation. It’s voluntary,” President Trump said.
The agency advises using non-medical cloth since many masks are in short supply and healthcare processionals need them.
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio is also on board.
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“We’re advising New Yorkers to wear a face covering when you go outside and will be near other people,” de Blasio said.
The recommendation comes after evidence showing infected people without symptoms can still spread the virus.
“Here’s what we’re talking about masks. Masks are not to protect you from incoming virus. Masks are to protect everyone around you,” Fran Phillips, of the Maryland Department of Health, said.
It’s a stark difference from previous guidance saying healthy people don’t need masks. Nonetheless, many already had been wearing them.
“When I get in a crowd of people that I can’t, like the buses or something that I can’t help, I smack on a mask,” Kimberly Smith, a Baltimore resident, said.
Northwest Hospital Medical Staff President Jeannette Linder says that even if you are wearing a mask, it doesn’t mean you should stop following other guidelines
“You need to stay home,” Linder said.
Masks are not a replacement for social distancing, officials say. You still need to try maintain at least six feet between people.