The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising the use of cloth face coverings during the novel coronavirus pandemic, even do-it-yourself covers.
The CDC said cloth face masks are also important to use by those not exhibiting symptoms.
"The virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity -- for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing -- even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms." according to a statement on the CDC’s website.
"In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission," the statement continued.
The CDC states that cloth face masks can be made from common household items, and while they are not medical-grade, it is important that medical-grade masks including surgical and N95 masks are reserved for health care workers currently facing a dire shortage of protective equipment.
In a video on the CDC’s website. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said that cloth face coverings can be made from an old scarf, bandanas and hand towels, and shows how to fashion a face covering from a t-shirt and two rubber bands.
#DYK? CDC’s recommendation on wearing a cloth face covering may help protect the most vulnerable from #COVID19. Watch @Surgeon_General Jerome Adams make a face covering in a few easy steps. https://t.co/bihJ3xEM15 pic.twitter.com/mE7Tf6y3MK— CDC (@CDCgov) April 4, 2020
On Friday during a press briefing, President Trump said that the CDC was now advising Americans to wear non-medical masks in public, adding it was voluntary and that he would not wear a mask.
As of Saturday morning, over 7,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19. There are at least 278,458 diagnosed cases in the U.S. and more than 1.1 million around the world.
ABC News' Eric Strauss, Libby Cathey and Michelle Stoddart contributed to this report.
What to know about coronavirus:
- How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
- What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
- Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
This report was featured in the Monday, April 6, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.
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