As a new sub-variant leads to increasing hospitalizations across the country and we wait for updated Covid-19 vaccines, doctors say it might be a good time to put your mask back on. Especially in certain settings such as air travel and subway journeys.
The percentage of people in the U.S. who said they wore a mask outside their home fell from about 57% in January 2022 to 27% in January 2023, according to the compiled data. The Covid States Project.
Still, “masks still provide good protection,” says Dr. Andrew Pavia, MD, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah and director of hospital epidemiology at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.
It’s not a terrible decision for anyone looking to minimize risk.
Dr. Andrew Pavia
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Physician
“Those at significant risk should consider using masks again, and this is not a terrible decision for anyone looking to reduce their risk.”
Pavia still believes facemasks should be a personal decision, but says there are some instances where facemasks can benefit you and others, regardless of your health and age.
Pavia recommends wearing a mask again in crowded, public places if you:
- Getting married or attending a wedding soon
- A great journey ahead
- Caring for an Immunocompromised Person
In these situations, “you really don’t want to get infected, and that might be a reason to think it’s time to wear a mask,” Pavia tells CNBC’s Make It.
He recommends that people at high risk of serious complications from Covid, many people, wear masks in public, especially in enclosed areas such as airplanes or crowded subways.
“No one really wants to get Covid,” says Pavia. “Better step up your defenses.”
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