POST 65. November 11, 2020. CORONAVIRUS, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took a stronger stance in favor of masks on Tuesday, emphasizing that they protect the people wearing them, rather than just those around them…

…The agency’s new guidance also notes that numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of “universal masking policies.”” (A)

“Wearing a mask not only protects others from the spread of Covid-19, but it protects the wearer as well, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday in its strongest messaging yet on face coverings.

The CDC also said that “adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns,” particularly when combined with a doubling down of mitigation strategies available to virtually every American: physical distancing, hand washing and ventilation.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, spreads mainly through respiratory droplets, especially when people are coughing, sneezing, singing, talking or even breathing. Infectious disease experts have long said that when one person covers his or her mouth and nose, it protects those who are nearby. The CDC report estimated that more than 50 percent of transmissions originate from asymptomatic people, or those who have been infected but have not yet developed symptoms.

When the CDC first urged Americans to wear face coverings in public in spring, the guidance was that it protected others. But there is growing evidence that a mask can also give protection to the person wearing it.

“Studies demonstrate that cloth mask materials can also reduce wearers’ exposure to infectious droplets through filtration, including filtration of fine droplets and particles less than 10 microns,” the report’s authors wrote.” (B)

“But the different state-level approaches mean researchers can now parse the results of a trial they never would have received approval to conduct. New unpublished research from Kansas and Tennessee suggests that not only do mask mandates prevent Covid-19 spread, they may also blunt the severity of illness and reduce the number of serious cases that require hospitalization. Other findings support the argument more and more public health experts are making: that masks remain among our cheapest most effective tools to control the pandemic — if worn consistently.

“If you’re not in the ICU, the only tools at our disposal that we know work are the tried-and-true public health measures, like social distancing, hand-washing, and masks,” says Vin Gupta, a critical care pulmonologist and affiliate assistant professor for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. “We’re bearing the brunt of those things being implemented poorly.”

“You’re less likely to get Covid-19 if you’re wearing a mask,” says Donna Ginther, an economist and director of the Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas. And “even if you do get sick while wearing a mask, you’re less likely to get deathly ill.” “ (C)

(A)Live updates: CDC offers stronger endorsement of mask-wearing as U.S. sets another record for infections, by Antonia Noori Farzan, Rick Noack, Marisa Iati, Paulina Villegas and Siobhán O’Grady,

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/11/11/coronavirus-covid-live-updates-us/

(B) ‘Two-way street’: CDC report says masks protect wearers and everyone else., by Erika Edwards, https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/two-way-street-cdc-report-says-masks-protect-wearers-everyone-n1247258

(C) Why every state should adopt a mask mandate, in 4 charts, By Lois Parshley and Youyou Zhou, https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/21546014/mask-mandates-coronavirus-covid-19

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