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CDC calls for indoor mask use, avoiding ‘nonessential indoor spaces,’ as coronavirus cases continue to surge

Signage stands outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta.Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg

To combat the record increase of coronavirus cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released strategies Friday to help slow community spread, one being the universal use of face masks, especially indoors.

The CDC recommends that the masks be “nonvalved, multilayer cloth masks or nonmedical disposable masks” to save N95 respirators for medical personnel, according to the center’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Friday. The report states masks should be worn within households when someone is infected or “has had recent potential COVID-19 exposure.”

“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 states.


The agency advises against visiting “nonessential indoor spaces,” such as restaurants, that would lend themselves to closer contact and inconsistent use of face coverings, and crowded places outside.

Also on the CDC’s list of strategies is to postpone travel, and if people are traveling then they should get tested.

This guidance comes as new coronavirus cases in the United States exceeded 190,000 on Wednesday, according to the CDC. On Thursday, total coronavirus cases reached 14 million in the US.

Lauren Booker can be reached at