What is the CDC’s current recommendation on well individuals wearing cloth masks?
The CDC says: We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms, and that is why social distancing of 6 feet apart is so important. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
The CDC offers guidance on making and wearing cloth masks on these websites:
These masks are not designed to function as OSHA approved personal protective equipment; rather they are an added deterrent to the spread of COVID19. Cloth masks do not replace the need to social distance and stay home if you are sick.
If your duties require the wearing of personal protective equipment, you should continue to do so.
Employees are permitted to provide their own cloth masks and wear them at work, as long as they follow the CDC recommendation for making, wearing and cleaning the cloth mask.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.