QUAD CITIES, Iowa (KWQC) The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is reviewing guidelines for the general public on wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Current guidelines from the CDC say if you are not sick, you do not need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick.
"We're looking at the issue of masks and we'll have CDC's recommendation. We'll bring those recommendations to the President at the appropriate time," Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview.
Wearing a mask could act as an another preventative measure, along with other health precautions--including social distancing, washing hands, and staying home if sick.
"The covering your cough, covering your sneeze, and the social distancing are essentially similar to the advice of wearing a mask. So the idea of wearing the masks like you said would be to keep those droplets potentially from spraying on others," Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of Illinois Dept. of Public Health, said at Wednesday's press conference.
Even if you decide to wear a mask in public, it's still important to follow other recommendations and guidelines.
"Wearing a face covering does not mean that you don't have to practice social distancing. The most important thing you can do is stay at home right now, and we don't want people to feel like, "Okay, I'm covering my face, so now it's okay for me to go out in public," Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told NBC News.
While neither Illinois or Iowa have current recommendations for wearing mask in public in place, Governor Reynolds said at Wednesday's press conference that information and guidelines continue to evolve.
"If we've seen anything it's how fluid the situation is. And how recommendations and information changes... sometimes daily. Sometimes weekly. So we're constantly coordinating with the CDC. And the administration with the local Dept. of Public Health and the expertise that they have," she said.
"We know not one practice alone will do it, we know that we need the full cache of all of these practices. everything will be additive, cumulative in helping decrease the spread and flattening the curve," Dr Ezike said.
If you decide to wear a mask, health experts are encouraging you to make a homemade one and save the N95 masks for healthcare workers on the front-lines. Click here for directions from Genesis Health on making a homemade mask.