When Should People Wear Masks? When Can We Stop? CDC Responds!

Source: OT-Team(AFJ), CDC, People's Daily

On March 16, a video about a Chinese-Australian woman who went out for a run without wearing a mask after returning to Beijing, even shouting for help and slamming the door when the community staff tried to dissuade her was widely spread via the Internet. As this kind of behavior violated the rule of home isolation, it attracted strong criticism from netizens. As per the news staff, the police has intervened later. And the woman fired by her company, Bayer China on the second day.

The Announcement Released by Bayer China

Wearing masks scientifically, not only to protect each person from COVID-19, but also beneficial to public health, which is called "mask civilization". So on March 18, the CDC issued a guideline on how different groups choose and use masks, the full guideline about it is as follows.

Guide for the General Public

1. For people staying at home and outdoors, where is no gathering and with good ventilation.

Protection Suggestion: No need to wear a mask.

2. For people in densely populated places, such as offices, shopping malls, restaurants, meeting rooms, workshops, etc.; or by Van, in elevators, public transportation, etc.

Protection Suggestion: In medium- and low-risk areas, spare masks (disposable medical masks/medical surgical masks) shall be carried with each person, and masks shall be worn when in close contact with others (less than or equal to one meter). While wearing disposable medical masks in high-risk areas.

3. For people with cold symptoms such as coughing or sneezing.

Protection Suggestion: Wearing disposable medical masks or surgical masks.

4. For people who live together with those who are isolated at home or discharged from hospital.

Protection Suggestion: Wearing disposable medical masks or surgical masks.

Guide for People in Specific Places

1. For the staff in densely populated hospitals, bus stations, railway stations, subway stations, airports, supermarkets, restaurants, public transportation vehicles, as well as community and unit import and export places.

Protection Suggestion: In medium and low-risk areas, the staff shall wear disposable medical masks or surgical masks. While in high-risk areas, medical surgical masks or protective masks that meet KN95 / N95 and above are needed.

2. For people in prisons, nursing homes, welfare homes, mental health and medical institutions, as well as classrooms, dormitories of building site and other densely populated places.

Protection Suggestion: In medium and low-risk areas, spare masks (disposable medical masks or medical surgical masks) shall be taken with everyone on a daily basis, and masks shall be worn when people gather together or are in close contact with other people (less than or equal to one meter). In high-risk areas, the work staff shall wear surgical masks or protective masks that meet KN95 / N95 and above; others just wear disposable medical masks.

Guide for Key Personnel

For all the suspected patients, confirmed patients and asymptomatic infections of COVID-19; the close contacts of the confirmed patients; all the inbound personnel (from the moment of entry until the end of quarantine).

Protection Suggestion: Wear medical surgical mask or respirator with no exhalation valve, which meets KN95 / N95 and above.

Guide for Occupationally Exposed Personnel

1. For the medical staff in general outpatient clinics and wards; emergency medical staff in medical institutions in low-risk areas and administrative staff, police, security guards, cleaning staff who are involved in epidemic prevention and control.

Protection Suggestion: Wear surgical masks.

2. For all the staff who most likely to be exposed to COVID-19, or in fever clinic of designated medical institution and in the emergency department of medical institutions in medium- and high-risk areas, or the staff who transfer of confirmed and suspected cases.

Protection Suggestion: Wear medical protective masks.

Precautions to Remember When Wearing a Mask

1. For all respiratory protective products including masks, everyone shall wash hands before wearing them and after taking them off.

2. When wearing the mask, each person shall pay attention to the two sides(front and back/up and down). The mask must cover the nose and mouth, and the nose clip shall be adjusted to fit the face.

3. Avoid touching the inner and outer sides of the mask by hand during wearing, and remove the mask by removing the ropes at both ends.

4. Wearing more than one mask can not effectively increase the protective effect, but instead can increase breathing resistance, and may destroy the tightness.

5. Various measures such as cleaning and disinfection of masks have no evidence to prove their effectiveness.

6. Disposable medical masks and surgical masks are limited in their usage, and the cumulative use shall not exceed 8 hours. The use of masks by occupationally exposed personnel shall not exceed 4 hours or be reused.