CDC update calls for universal mask-wearing

A well-rounded approach that includes universal face mask use is needed to combat the spread of COVID-19 as the U.S. approaches a "phase of high-level transmission," according to the CDC's Dec. 4 "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report." 

The CDC calls for universal mask use at all times indoors, except when within one's own household, and outside when distances of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained. 

This is the first time the CDC has called for indoor universal mask wearing, according to The Washington Post. 

Additional strategies in the report are social distancing and limiting in-person contact; avoiding nonessential indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces; increasing testing to rapidly identify and isolate infected persons; prompt contact tracing to identify and test close contacts; safeguarding those who are most vulnerable to severe infections or death; adequately protecting essential workers with personal protective equipment and work practices; postponing travel; increasing indoor air ventilation, enhancing hand hygiene and environmental disinfection; and achieving widespread COVID-19 vaccine coverage. 

"Full implementation of and adherence to these strategies will save lives," the CDC concluded. 

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