AAMC releases national guidance on face coverings

Aug. 13, 2020

The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) has released a national guidance on face coverings, which the association compiled based on the latest scientific information on mask usage from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local governments, and public health experts. The Way Forward on COVID-19: Consensus Guidance on Face Coverings from the AAMC Research and Action Institute builds on the AAMC’s recently released road map to reset the nation’s response to the pandemic.

The national guidance is for families and individuals, as well as for state and local officials and public health experts in areas at risk of growing community spread.

The following guidelines are recommended for wearing cloth face coverings:

·        Face coverings should cover both your nose and mouth and should be well-fitted to minimize gaps around your nose and chin.

·         Cloth face masks should have at least two layers (three layers when possible).

·         Loosely folded face coverings and bandana-style coverings are better than no coverings; however, they still allow for the smallest aerosolized respiratory droplets to be dispersed.

Recommendations for indoors include:

·         Everyone two years of age and older should wear a mask indoors around people who do not live in their household, including in elevators, restaurants, cars, buses, and airplanes.

·         All businesses open to the public, no matter how limited, should insist that all customers wear masks while indoors.

Recommendations for outdoors include:

·         Everyone two years of age and older should wear a mask in public settings.

·         When outdoors and expecting to be around others, the safest option is to wear a mask, even when briefly passing by others (e.g., running or walking by someone on the sidewalk).

·         Avoid nonessential activities and gatherings that bring people within six feet of each other or cause a more forceful exhalation, such as playing sports or singing, with or without face coverings.

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