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New CDC guidance calls for universal face masks

Coronavirus

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending universal use of face masks.

This means mask wearing should be more widespread, and even within the home if “there is a COVID-19 case or a person with a known or possible exposure in the household,” the CDC said in guidance released Friday.

At a state and local level, the CDC recommends local leaders mandate face masks inside public spaces. Their local advice includes having officials provide face masks for specific populations if needed.

The CDC says the following about wearing masks to prevent COVID-19 transmission:

“You should wear a mask, even if you do not feel sick.

This is because several studies have found that people with COVID-19 who never develop symptoms (asymptomatic) and those who are not yet showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic) can still spread the virus to other people.

The main function of wearing a mask is to protect those around you, in case you are infected but not showing symptoms.”

Other new recommendations includes avoiding nonessential indoor spaces and crowded outdoor settings. The CDC advises leaders to issue directives restricting some nonessential indoor spaces that pose the highest risk for transmission.

In the workplace, the CDC is advising employers to allow telework as much as possible and apply occupancy limits indoors.

The United States is seeing dangerous levels of rising coronavirus trends. For the first time, the U.S. recorded 3,100 deaths from the coronavirus in a single day.

Healthcare workers and leaders are concerned of hitting max capacity in ICUs, leading to more deaths, whether it’s COVID-19 or patients who can’t get prompt care for other medical issues.

In California, this week leaders said there are fewer than 2,000 ICU beds available statewide. This prompted warnings of a stay-at-home order, which California will enact for regions that are at just 15% capacity in ICUs.

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