CDC urges ‘universal mask use’ indoors for the first time as U.S. hospitalizations hit a record high of 101,000 and deaths surges amid the pandemic
- The CDC suggested the universal use of face masks in a new report on Friday
- The agency said proper face masks should be worn anywhere outside of an individuals’ home
- Report said the US has reached a ‘phase of high-level transmission’ amid the winter weather, holiday seasons and flu season
- President-elect Joe Biden announced he will ask Americans to wear face masks for up to 100 days when inaugurated
- Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations have increased across the country
- CDC said national forecasts predicted between 9,500 and 19,500 new Covid-19 deaths will be counted during the week ending December 26
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested the universal use of face masks indoors as Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths rock the country.
The agency has long urged Americans to wear proper face masks, but Friday’s recommendation specifically asked people to don masks anywhere outside an individual’s home.
It asked community leaders to issue ‘policies or directives mandating universal use of face masks in indoor (nonhousehold) settings.’
‘Consistent and correct use of face masks is a public health strategy critical to reducing respiratory transmission of SARS-CoV-2,’ the report stated, noting that an estimated 50 per cent of new infections are transmitted by asymptomatic people.
The CDC on Friday recommended universal face mask usage for Americans anywhere outside of the individuals home
The CDC has urged Americans to wear proper face masks, but Friday’s recommendation specifically asked people to don masks anywhere outside an individual’s home
The CDC on Wednesday reminded its Twitter followers to wear proper face masks as the U.S. Covid-19 pandemic extends into winter
On November 30, the CDC said national forecasts predicted between 9,500 and 19,500 new Covid-19 deaths will be counted during the week ending December 26
The CDC cautioned that the United States has reached a ‘phase of high-level transmission’ that is bolstered by a number of factors.
The arrival of winter weather, Americans will be spending more times in doors and run the risk of mixing households amid the holiday season. The Covid-19 pandemic also slammed into flu season as well, which has prompted experts to fear a chei’twindemic’ that could rattle the U.S.
‘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 report said.
It added that face masks are most critical in indoor spaces and outdoor area when proper social distancing of six-feet cannot be maintained.
Face masks should be used within households when a member is infected or has potentially be exposed to the virus.
People wait in line to get tested for Covid-19 at the Ann Street School Covid-19 Testing Center in Newark, New Jersey
The report stressed the importance of mitigation efforts ot combat Covid-19 spread, as well as advocated that communities create plans for face mask distributions.
It comes after President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday revealed he ask every American to wear face masks for up to 100 days when in office.
‘On the first day I’m inaugurated I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to mask – just 100 days to mask. Not forever,’ Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday.
‘And I think we’ll see a significant reduction’ in COVID cases when that happens, he said.
Biden has pushed for Americans to wear the face coverings, even suggesting he may do a national mandate, to combat the disease.
He’s recently offered the position of chief medical adviser to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert and member of the White House coronavirus task force who has also advocated for universal mask wearing.
President-elect Joe Biden (pictured) on Thursday revealed he ask every American to wear face masks for up to 100 days when in office.
The CDC has asked Americans to postpone or cancel any holiday travel plans amid the pandemic, saying it could increase the number of cases. Pictured: A man greets his daughter at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago
CDC Director Robert Redfield called face masks ‘the most important, powerful public health tool’ in September, while research has suggested wearing one could prevent economic trouble.
A June report from Goldman Sachs found that making a national mandate could fend off lockdown restrictions and save around $1 trillion of economic activity.
Friday’s CDC report also suggested Americans continued social distancing, avoided non-essential gatherings, increase the testing process and postpone traveling.
The agency argued against traveling before Thanksgiving last month, but on that day 6.3 million flew, 48million drove and 350,000 journeyed by train for holiday plans.4
Since the holiday travel season began on November 20, around one million Americans traveled daily by plane.
‘Travel increases the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 exposure and infection and could translocate infection between communities. Postponing travel is the best way to reduce this risk,’ the report said.
For individuals who do plan to travel, the CDC suggested undergoing a Covid-19 test and after traveling, and quarantine for one week.
‘Testing does not eliminate all risk and should be combined with other recommended public health strategies,’ the CDC wrote.
On November 30, the CDC said national forecasts predicted between 9,500 and 19,500 new Covid-19 deaths will be counted during the week ending December 26.
The forecasts estimated that 303,000 to 239,000 Covid-19 deaths would be confirmed in the United States by that time.
As of Friday, the country has recorded more than 14million confirmed cases, 269,700 deaths and hospitalizations at 101,279.
Hospitalizations have been on a steady increase, per Covidtracking,com, with just 52,166 being counted on November 4.
More than 19,800 citizens are administered to ICUs and 6.999 are currently placed on ventilators.
Nationwide deaths have also experienced an uptick after briefly falling November 29 with 803 new daily deaths. On Friday, that number was 2.563.
Excluding March, the country’s lowest daily deaths happened on July 5 with just 207. By August 5, that number had spiked to 1,360 deaths and growing.