CDC Urges Americans to Wear Masks

July 16, 2020

Citing the latest science, including two recent case studies, on the effectiveness of masks in preventing and reducing the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging Americans to wear masks.

In an editorial in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the CDC reviewed the latest science and affirmed that cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when used universally within communities.

“We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

The CDC’s review includes two case studies, one from JAMA, showing that adherence to universal masking policies reduced SARS-CoV-2 transmission within a Boston hospital system, and one from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, showing that wearing a mask prevented the spread of infection from two hair stylists to their customers in Missouri.

Yesterday, a diverse coalition of business and healthcare groups, including IHA, issued a press release urging Illinoisans to wear face masks when in public to save lives and protect the state’s economy.