The Centers for Disease Control Prevention on Monday urged people to return to wearing masks to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses this season such as COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which are circulating at the same time.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky held a call with the media where she said wearing a mask is one of several everyday precautions that people can take to reduce their chances of catching or spreading a respiratory virus during the festive period.
“We also encourage you to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses,” Walensky said, adding that the CDC is considering expanding its system of Covid community levels to take into account other respiratory viruses such as the flu.
“One need not wait on CDC action in order to put a mask on,” Walensky said, according to CNBC. “We would encourage all of those preventive measures — hand washing, staying home when you’re sick, masking, increased ventilation — during respiratory virus season, but especially in areas of high Covid-19 community levels.”
Walensky added that anyone planning to travel by plane, train, bus or other forms of public transportation should continue to wear a mask.
Walensky also encouraged everyone eligible to receive their flu shot and an updated Covid booster.
“I want to emphasize that the flu vaccine can be lifesaving and importantly, there’s still time to get vaccinated to be protected against flu this season and its potential serious consequences,” Walensky said. “We now face yet another surge of illness. Another moment of overstretched capacity and really one of tragic and often preventable sadness.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC
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