WHO: Anyone over 12 should wear a mask inside and outside as COVID cases continue to surge

WHO: Anyone over 12 should wear a mask inside and outside as COVID cases continue to surge
Posted at 2:28 PM, Dec 02, 2020

The World Health Organization updated its guidelines on mask-wearing Tuesday, recommending that anyone over the age of 12 wear a mask indoor and outdoor and inside your home if it's ventilated poorly.

The updated guidelines come as COVID-19 cases continue to sore in America. On Wednesday, 180,083 new cases were reported, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

According to the guidelines, in areas where COVID is spreading, WHO recommends that anyone over the age of 12 wear masks in shops, shared workplaces, and schools if they can't maintain a distance of more than 3-feet between others.

They also recommend masks be worn when people visit your home if there's not adequate ventilation, or you can't be more than 3-feet or more from each other.

The WHO said on top of wearing a mask, other precautions such as washing hands, avoiding touching your face, having adequate ventilation if indoors, testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation should also be taken.

"Together, these measures are critical to prevent human-to-human transmission of COVID-19," WHO said.

In areas of COVID-19 spread, the organization said healthcare workers should take part in "universal masking" in health care facilities, meaning they should wear an N95 respirator mask throughout their entire shift, including when caring for other patients.

The advice applied to visitors, outpatients, and common areas such as cafeterias and staff rooms, but added administrative staff does not need to wear a mask if they are not exposed to patients.

The organization also recommended that people who do vigorous physical activity should not wear masks, citing some associated risks, particularly asthma.

For children, the WHO recommends children up to 5-years-old should not wear masks for source control. They added that children between the ages of 6 to 11-years-old should only wear masks if "a risk-based approach is applied."

"Factors to be considered in the risk-based approach include intensity of COVID-19 transmission, child’s capacity to comply with the appropriate use of masks and availability of appropriate adult supervision, local social and cultural environment, and specific settings such as households with elderly relatives, or schools," the organization added in its guidelines.