Surgeon general warns facial covering does not replace social distancing

Surgeon general explains evolving guidance on face coverings amid COVID-19 pandemic

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams spoke with Sean Hannity Friday to discuss the Trump administration's plan to stop the spread of coronavirus and the confusion over masks.
"It's important for the American people to know that the task force always makes recommendations based on the science, and the science originally told us that people who wear a mask are not protecting themselves from the virus," Adams said on "Hannity." "We actually recommend that people who have symptoms or people who think they may have a disease to wear a mask so they don't spread it to others."
Adams explained to Hannity what has changed recently that made the task force change course on their facial-covering recommendation.
"What's changed is we found that there are a significant number of people who have asymptomatic spread of the virus. And so the CDC changed its recommendations today," Adams explained. "And they now suggest that the general public consider wearing masks when they're going out in public so as not to spread disease to other people, particularly in situations where they may be closer than six feet from each other."
The doctor made it clear that the facial-covering recommendation does not replace social distancing.
"A couple of really important points that I want you to know. Number one, this does not replace social distancing. The most important thing to do is still to stay home," Adams said. "If you're going to wear a facial covering, please make sure you don't touch your face and that you wash your hands so you weren't contaminating yourself."
Adams also told people to leave N95 and surgical masks to the health care professional.
"They need them to take care of high-risk patients. A cloth facial covering is what the CDC recommends," Adams said. "That works just fine to protect other people from you. Because we're all in this together.

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