The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and Prevea Health strongly recommend all who are able wear a mask
when in public settings, when around people who are not a part of their household, if they are sick and interacting with others in their household, and if they are caring for someone who is sick in their home.
Wearing a mask, in addition to physical distancing, frequent handwashing and other infection prevention practices will help to curb the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
Masks may be difficult to wear for: children*; people with developmental challenges or mental illness; elderly persons with cognitive impairment; those with chronic respiratory problems; those with facial trauma; and those who have recently had facial surgery. However, none of these conditions are listed by the CDC as reasons to not wear a mask (*children under the age of 2 should never wear a mask). If you have any questions or concerns about your ability to wear a mask for medical reasons, it is important you consult with your doctor.
The following people should NEVER wear a mask:
- Children younger than 2 years old
- Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance
In some situations, wearing a mask may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition. Adaptations and alternatives should be considered whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a mask or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading if it is not possible to wear one.
- People who are deaf or hard of hearing—or those who care for or interact with a person who is hearing impaired—may be unable to wear a mask if they rely on lip-reading to communicate. In this situation, consider using a clear face covering. If a clear face covering isn’t available, consider whether you can use written communication, use closed captioning, or decrease background noise to make communication possible while wearing a mask that blocks your lips.
- Some people, such as those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health conditions or other sensory sensitivities, may have challenges wearing a mask. They should consult with their health care provider for advice about wearing masks