With news of two families being quarantined in Erie County while they are being tested for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and two other people were confirmed to have the virus in New York State, it only seems natural some might want to be proactive and wear protective masks.

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But health experts are advising against it.

According to Forbes, you shouldn't wear a mask to protect against coronavirus if you're healthy, which is advised by infection prevention specialist, Eli Perencevich MD, who is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Iowa's College of Medicine.

“The average healthy person does not need to have a mask, and they shouldn’t be wearing masks,” Dr. Perencevich said. “There’s no evidence that wearing masks on healthy people will protect them. They wear them incorrectly, and they can increase the risk of infection because they’re touching their face more often.”

Since the coronavirus is spread through droplets, not through the air, wearing a mask does not aid in preventing the virus. The masks people are wearing help keep droplets in, not keep them out of a mask. You can't randomly breathe in the virus.

You should only wear a mask if you're already sick with the coronavirus.

“The one time you would want a mask is if you’re sick and you have to leave the house,” Dr. Perencevich said. “If you have the flu or think you have COVID, that’s when you’d put on a mask to protect others. In your house, if you feel like you’re sick, you should wear a mask to protect your family members.”

The U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams also says that wearing a mask could, in fact, increase your chances of getting coronavirus if worn improperly.

"You can increase your risk of getting it by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider," Adams said during an interview on Fox & Friends on Monday morning.
"Folks who don't know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus," Adams said.

This also means that healthy people shouldn't buy masks since there's already a shortage.

Read the full story here.

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