SAN JOSE (KRON) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now say masks benefit the wearer.

The announcement is in line with the data that has been available all along, says Stanford infectious disease expert, Dr. Robert Siegel. 

“Basically, mask wearing makes sense from a logical standpoint. Makes sense in terms of studies from physical transmission particles and some of the epidemiological data,” said Siegel. 

The CDC previously declared that the use of masks would simply offer protection for people around the mask wearer. 

The new policy cites evidence confirming the benefits of universal mask wearing.

The CDC states that “individual benefit increases with increasing community mask use,” Dr. Siegel agrees. 

“I think it is important to note that masks are not perfect and so we still have to use other things. For instance, for people who are asymptomatic, they shouldn’t be interacting with other people,” Siegel said. 

Tapping into the economic argument, the CDC maintains that if mask wearing were to increase by just 15 percent, strict lockdowns might be avoided, cutting losses by a trillion dollars nationwide or 5 percent of GDP. 

Experts however caution that while it’s clear more masks mean more protection, they are not perfect. 

“But the fact is that you can imagine you wearing a mask and you’re coughing or you’re talking loudly. Some of the particles are stopped by the mask but some of them get through and the recipient is wearing a mask,” Siegel said. “The probability of stopping the remaining particles is high.”  

Among the studies that the CDC cited was one where two masked hairstylists who were experiencing some symptoms did not pass along the virus to as many as 67 different masked clients that they later came into contact with.  

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