Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
What you need to know
・People age 2 and older should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.
・A mask is NOT a substitute for social distancing. Masks should still be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart, especially when indoors around people who don’t live in your household.
・Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after touching or removing your mask.
・Masks may not be necessary when you are outside by yourself away from others, or with other people who live in your household. However, some localities may have mask mandates while out in public, please check for the rules in your locality.
・CDC continues to study the effectiveness of different types of masks and update our recommendations as new scientific evidence becomes available. The most recent scientific brief is available here: Scientific Brief: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 | CDC.
Types of masks
Some masks work better than others to help stop the spread of COVID-19 outside of healthcare settings. Medical masks and N-95 respirators should not be used because they should be conserved for healthcare personnel.
Non-medical disposable masks
Masks that fit properly (snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face)
Masks made with breathable fabric (such as cotton)
Masks made with tightly woven fabric (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source)
Masks with two or three layers
Masks with inner filter pockets Not Recommended
Masks that do not fit properly (large gaps, too loose or too tight)
Masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as plastic or leather)
Masks made from loosely woven fabric or that are knitted, i.e., fabrics that let light pass through
Masks with exhalation valves or vents