CDC urges universal use of masks indoors outside of home for the 1st time

Brendan Morrow

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to always wear masks indoors when they're not in their homes.

The CDC made this recommendation for the first time in a report on Friday, stressing the importance of "consistent and correct" use of face masks as the United States enters a "phase of high-level transmission" in the COVID-19 pandemic, The Washington Post reports.

"Compelling evidence now supports the benefits of cloth face masks for both source control (to protect others) and, to a lesser extent, protection of the wearer," the CDC said.

Wearing face masks is "most important in indoor spaces and outdoors when physical distance of ≥6 feet cannot be maintained," the CDC said, also recommending officials "issue policies or directives mandating universal use of face masks in indoor (nonhousehold) settings."

The CDC's report also explained that masks should also be worn within households if "a member of the household is infected or has had recent potential COVID-19 exposure," and it warned against "nonessential indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings," as exposures at both "pose a preventable risk to all participants."

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