US health authorities are debating whether, when they go out in public, they should recommend face coverings for everyone.
An internal memo for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that even simple cloth masks could help reduce the risk of transmission of viruses, reports the Washington Post.
President Donald Trump indicated that people should “use a scarf”
Current guidelines state that masks must only be worn by healthcare workers, sick people and those who care about them.
There is currently a shortage of N95 and surgical masks in the US, with healthcare workers claiming they have been advised to reuse masks multiple times, or use bandanas when there are no masks available.
More than 190,000 cases of coronavirus have occurred in the US, with about 4,000 deaths.
In other news on Wednesday: U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence warned the U.S. appears to be on a similar course as Italy, which has experienced the most deaths of any nation In the UK, tennis tournament Wimbledon has been postponed for the first time since World War Two British government officials pledged to speed up monitoring within weeks Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised the biggest economic package in country’s history.
The Washington Post received memos from the CDC, which said fabric masks would help prevent the virus from spreading if people wear them in public, including during basic activities such as visiting the supermarket.
For their consideration, the Washington Post reports, the advice is being shared with the White House Coronavirus task force.
While no change has yet been made to the official guidance, officials have made a clear change in tone over the last few days.