How Well Do Face Masks Protect Against COVID-19?
Can face masks help slow the spread of the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Yes. Face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as getting vaccinated, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing, can help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends masks for the general public. If you're in an area with a high number of people with COVID-19 in the hospital and new COVID-19 cases,the CDC recommends wearing a well-fitted mask indoors in public, whether or not you're vaccinated.
The CDC says that you should wear the most protective mask possible that you'll wear regularly, fits well and is comfortable.
If you have a weakened immune system or have a higher risk of serious illness, wear a mask that provides you with the most protection possible when you're in an area with a high number of people with COVID-19 in the hospital and new COVID-19 cases. Check with your healthcare provider to see if you should wear a mask when you're in an area with a lower number of new COVID-19 cases and people with COVID-19 in the hospital.
Do You Still Need To Wear A Face Mask After You're Vaccinated?
After you're vaccinated, you can more safely return to doing activities that you might not have been able to do because of the pandemic. However, if you are in an area with a high number of people with COVID-19 in the hospital and new COVID-19 cases, the CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public. You're considered fully vaccinated two weeks after you get a second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after you get a single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. You are considered up to date with your vaccines if you have gotten all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including booster doses, when you become eligible.
In the U.S., everyone also needs to wear a mask while on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation.
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