BALTIMORE (WMAR) — The CDC is calling on Americans to continue wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after case studies show they really do work.
In Maryland, masks are required on public transportation and in stores.
Now the CDC is calling on everyone to wear masks after an editorial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed increasing evidence that cloth face coverings stop the spread of the virus, citing case studies at a hospital and salon where universal masking policies prevented the spread of COVID-19.
It’s a call echoed by University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health physician Vinisha Amin.
"These masks are creating a barrier," said Amin.
Dr. Amin said not only does wearing a mask protect others from you, it protects you from others.
"If you’re in close vicinity or proximity to someone and they cough or they sneeze or they’re speaking loudly, there could be a large respiratory droplet that’s launched where the mask will essentially serve as a barrier," said Amin.
But she said its only really effective if you are covering both your nose and mouth when wearing it because the virus attacks the lungs.
"The most common modalities are your nasal cavity and your oral pharynx which you breathe through, so it’s extremely important to protect both those cavities to make sure the virus doesn’t gain direct access to your lungs," said Amin.
She says overall Marylanders are doing a good job wearing masks but the usage isn’t always correct.
"Don’t wear your masks so that your nasal cavity is exposed. Don’t wear your mask on your chin. Don’t let it dangle," said Amin.
She recommends always wearing one indoors and even sometimes when outside.
"If you’re in an urban setting or an inner city setting where people are very close to you or in close proximity and you’re gonna have people walk by you in the side walk or wherever you are, in the parking lot, please wear a mask," said Amin.
She also recommends taking your masks off only by touching the sides, avoiding the front because that’s where the highest concentration of virus is. Then she said throw it into a washing machine and wash it at the highest possible temperature.