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Who Should be Wearing Face Masks?

With the heat of the summer here and people participating in get togethers including picnics, BBQs, and family outings at the beach, everyone is seeing more people in close proximity compared to the spring. And at the same time, coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) cases are spiking.

In the Southwest and South of the US, the cases are seeing record numbers. And in at least one state, Florida, its mortality rate has gone up. Florida saw 132 cases of COVID-19 related deaths recorded yesterday.

As the uncertainty over who and where people should be wearing face masks remains, the medical consensus is that masks help. As states, businesses, and local municipalities begin to grapple with and implement face mask requirements, there are different rules as to when they should be worn. In addition, some states have not required people to wear face masks in public. 

In the first segment of a two-part interview with Contagion®, Rajiv Dhand, MD, professor and chair, Department of Medicine and associate dean of clinical affairs, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine discusses the importance of everyone wearing face masks including health care workers seeing patients outside the hospital setting.

When asked about health care workers who are seeing patients outside the hospital, Dhand was in favor of them wearing face masks. “Yes, definitely," Dhand said. "They should be taking all precautions because as you know this is really a highly infectious virus and it can easily be transmitted.”  

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