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Infectious Diseases Specialists Call on Public to Wear a Mask, Slow the Spread of COVID-19

 

Statement by IDSA President Thomas File, Jr., M.D., MSc, FIDSA and HIVMA Chair Judith Feinberg, M.D., FIDSA

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States continues to climb, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and its HIV Medicine Association implore the public to take the only simple and effective steps we have to slow the spread of the coronavirus and save lives – key among them, wear a mask.

The United States is home to more than 3 million people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 134,000 people in this country have lost their lives. Despite the re-opening of many businesses across the country and the loosening of restrictions, we are not back to normal. We cannot afford to let our guard down against this insidious and deadly virus. With no vaccine and limited treatment options, we must work together to protect one another, or risk prolonged human and economic suffering. Universal use of masks in public is the most effective step we can take toward gaining control over this pandemic and re-opening our economy with confidence.

In addition to frequent handwashing and physical distancing, scientific evidence is strong that cloth masks can obstruct many of the droplets from the mouth and nose that spread the virus. Masks are especially important in enclosed spaces and should be worn in all community settings. 

We are all in the fight against this pandemic together. As infectious diseases and HIV specialists responding to the continuing impacts of COVID-19, we call on all people to do their part to end this public health crisis.

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