Fabric masks need 3 layers to best curb coronavirus spread

Grant Boone
June 6, 2020

People over 60 or with health issues should wear a medical-grade mask when they are out and can not socially distance, according to new guidance from the World Health Organization, while all others should wear a three-layer fabric mask.

- The WHO says the widespread use of face masks or coverings by the general public is still not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence.

However, the United Nations health body warns that masks are not a replacement for physical distancing, hand hygiene and other public health measures, and they are only of benefit as part of a comprehensive approach in the fight against COVID-19.

WHO previously had recommended that only health care workers, people with COVID-19 and their caregivers wear medical masks, noting a global shortage of supplies. Everyone else should use what it terms non-medical or fabric masks. "Masks alone will not protect you from Covid-19", he told a virtual news conference.

What's not new is the WHO's continued emphasis that masks alone can not defeat the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance, she emphasised, is based on "new, novel research" commissioned by the WHO.

While some countries and USA states have recommended or mandated the wearing of face coverings in public, the World Health Organization had previously said there was not enough evidence for or against the use of masks for healthy people in the wider community.

Four more coronaviruses cases in Bureau County
As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Public health officials were notified of positive tests, according to state and local public health protocols.

If it is absolutely necessary for a sick person or a contact to leave the house, they should wear a medical mask.

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a thrice-weekly video press conference that he wanted to talk about who should wear masks, what materials they should be made of and when they should be worn. However, other precautions, namely washing your hands frequently and staying at least 6 feet away from others in public, when possible should also be followed, experts warned.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead on COVID-19, said the updated recommendations were based on new research commissioned by the United Nations health agency. It also details the materials recommended for each layer.

In April, the CDC updated its guidelines for recommend All Americans wear cloth face covers while in public, "especially in areas of significant community transmission".

'Masks are only of benefit as part of a comprehensive approach in the fight against COVID-19.

That is what we know works.

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