The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing face masks in shared spaces if someone in the family came in close contact with people who don’t live in the household and one or more members have compromised immunity (seniors, those with underlying health issues like heart disease, etc.).
People come to visit you at home
Another instance when we need to wear a mask at home is when other people come to visit us. It’ll also help to politely ask visitors to wear a mask, too.
You’re returning home from a trip
Do we need to wear a face mask at home? Experts say, yes, especially after you returned from a work-related or leisure trip. This is because you need to take into account your exposure to the people at the event and commute.
You feel sick
Are you feeling a little under the weather? Do you have respiratory symptoms? Whatever it is, it wouldn’t hurt to be cautious until you’re in the clear.
Having respiratory symptoms warrant self-isolation, but if it’s not possible, wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing is necessary to reduce the risk of spread.
And of course, if you’re caring for someone sick, you also need to wear a face mask at home.
The current WHO guidelines
As of this writing, the World Health Organization has two guidelines in wearing a mask in household indoor settings:
- Wear a mask when someone outside the household visits and ventilation in the house is poor; put a mask on, too if the ventilation cannot be determined regardless of whether people can practice physical distancing.
- Wear a mask when the house has adequate ventilation, but physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Wearing a face mask at home is effective, a study finds
Do we need to wear a mask at home? One study in Beijing, China revealed that wearing a mask at home seemed to be effective in curbing the COVID-19 spread within families by up to 79%.
However, there’s a catch: the first infected person must wear a mask at home before their symptoms appear.
According to the researchers, their investigation confirmed that the risk of household transmission is highest prior to the onset of symptoms.
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