Encourage the Public to Wear Masks. 

“There is emerging evidence that asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 is possible, which complicates efforts to pursue case-based interventions. To reduce this risk during Phase I, everyone, including people without symptoms, should be encouraged to wear nonmedical fabric face masks while in public.

Face masks will be most effective at slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 if they are widely used, because they may help prevent people who are asymptomatically infected from transmitting the disease unknowingly. Face masks are used widely by members of the public in some countries that have successfully managed their outbreaks, including South Korea and Hong Kong. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended members of the public use face masks in the event of a severe influenza pandemic.

However, personal protective equipment should continue to be reserved for health care workers until supplies are sufficient for them and abundant. For this reason, right now members of the general public should opt to wear nonmedical fabric face masks when going out in public. The CDC should issue guidelines on the proper design of such nonmedical fabric face masks. Consumers may be able to fashion these masks themselves using available washable materials, or they may become available in the consumer marketplace.” Article Link: https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/national-coronavirus-response-a-road-map-to-reopening/

  • by Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark McClellan, Lauren Silvis, Crystal Watson