FACT CHECK: Image Shows Outdated Guidance On Wearing Face Masks

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend for healthy people to wear face masks.

Verdict: False

The guidance in the image is outdated. The CDC has recommended since early April that everyone should wear face coverings in public.

Fact Check:

The image, posted on April 30, appears to show a screen grab of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s website, with a note about the CDC’s guidance on wearing face masks during the coronavirus pandemic circled at the bottom.

“Please note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend that people who are healthy wear facemasks to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19,” reads the circled text. “Facemasks should be worn by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.”

That guidance was outdated when the image was posted on Facebook, and it remains so at the time of publication. (RELATED: Viral Image Gives Inaccurate Instructions For Wearing Surgical Masks)

The CDC issued new guidelines on April 3 that recommend everyone wear face coverings “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” Prior to April 3, the CDC had advised that people exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or under investigation for having the virus should wear face coverings, not those who are healthy.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center website has since been updated to reflect the change in the CDC’s guidance.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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