The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of cloth face coverings for every person over the age of 2 who is traveling into public spaces. Cloth face covers work as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks or raises their voice. This is called source control.
This recommendation is based on what researchers know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies. These studies show cloth face coverings reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.
The CDC recommends everyone 2 years and older wear a cloth face covering in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures can’t be maintained. In addition, it is critical the following persons always wear a face covering around other people, regardless of distancing:
While cloth face coverings are strongly encouraged to reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recognizes there are specific instances when wearing a cloth face covering may not be feasible. Cloth face coverings should not be worn by:
Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use. It is important to always remove face coverings correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used face covering.