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Metro COVID-19 Task Force suggests everyone wear masks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Health officials are now advising everyone to wear masks or some form of protection over their face when they are out of their house.

“If COVID-19 gave us a clear signal early on of who’s infected, we wouldn’t need to take this approach. If we could test everyone to see if they had COVID-19, we wouldn’t need to take this approach,” Dr. James Hildreth, president of Meharry Medical College said in the Metro Nashville COVID-19 Task Force press conference Friday.

“If everybody is wearing a mask regardless of who had the virus,Nashville News the chain of transmission would be reduced,” he said.

Although the only mask proven to protect people from the virus is an N-95, the CDC now says up to 25 percent of people who have the virus may not even show symptoms.

That’s why experts say wearing any kind of facial guard could be crucial to stopping the spread of droplets.

“There’s a reason why everyone in China and South Korea wears a mask out in public,” Hildreth explained, “And at least one major study showed that that cut the rate of transmission by 50 percent.”

Dr. David Aronoff, the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center says it could help, Press Release Distribution Service “Being asymptomatic can still spread [the] virus through speaking, singing, things like that. Masks help when there’s close contact between them,” he told News 2.

Hildreth emphasized in the press conference that health care workers should take priority in getting personal protective gear and Aronoff said companies who are making masks should provide supplies to medical staff first.

Those at home can make their own or use cloths such as bandanas, taking extra precaution to clean.

“An easy way to sanitize it is to wash it in some soapy water or stick it in a plastic bag and zap it for two minutes in the microwave,” Hildreth advised.

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