The news comes as the number of COVID-19 cases continues a troubling and unrelenting rise in both Illinois and Wisconsin, with both states setting daily records for cases every day and hospitals becoming increasingly stressed.
It’s been clear for months that masks are a critical tool in stopping the spread of coronavirus because they keep you from spreading the virus to other people.
Now, the Centers for Disease Control reports that wearing a mask also protects the person wearing it.
In some ways, the basic guidance on masks hasn’t changed, Dr. Robert Citronberg, executive medical director of infectious disease and prevention at Advocate Aurora Health, told ABC-7 Chicago on Thursday.
You should wear a mask because it slows the spread of COVID-19.
The difference is that scientists now know you get some benefit yourself, aside from protecting others.
“This is like gravy,” Dr. Citronberg said. “Not only are you protecting others from you, you can also achieve some benefit yourself by wearing a mask.”
Some masks are better than others, he said. Thicker, multi-layered masks that fit well work best.
Masks are a critical tool to stop the virus. But you also need to keep your distance from others and wash your hands regularly. The more people in the community that have active cases of COVID-19, the more likely it is you’ll catch the virus when you’re out and about.
“Everything you do, every contact that you have with a person who doesn’t live in your household is a risk,” Dr. Citronberg said.