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The answer is “YES!”, but but not in the way most people think. Below are the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. Note that there are no recommendations for wearing a mask.
The principal reason is mask-wearing prevents infected people from infecting others and is NOT as significantly an effective method of personally preventing acquiring this viral infection. Because of the long preclinical incubation period, (before someone shows symptoms of being sick) wearing a mask is a public health protective measure (protects society), not a personal one. One Beijing doctor hypothesized his infection stemmed from entry through the mucous membranes of his conjunctiva. Besides, most masks do not filter particulate matter on the size of viruses and entrain air around the nose or in front of the ears.
Wash your hands often, especially after shaking hands with others (alcohol-based hand disinfectants may be used if there is no access to soap and water);
Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing;
Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow if you do not have a tissue;
Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, especially after contact with others;
Keep a three-foot [one-meter] distance between yourself and anyone who is ill;
Stay home if you have a fever and influenza-like symptoms and consider seeing your primary care provider depending on the severity and length of your symptoms. Do not return to work or school until you’ve had 24 hours without a fever. This is important to help limit the spread.
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