Dental Tribune India

Latest (Dec 2020) updates from WHO and CDC on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19

By Dental Tribune South Asia
December 08, 2020

Dr Ashwini Bhangale (BDS) summarizes the latest updates on the use of masks - from the World Health Organization (WHO), released on 1 Dec 2020 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released on 7 Dec 2020 - both in the context of COVID-19.

WHO interim guidance (1 Dec 2020): Mask use in the context of COVID-19
Click here to read the full article

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) advises the use of masks as part of a comprehensive package of prevention and control measures to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • A mask alone, even when it is used correctly, is insufficient to provide adequate protection or source control. Other infection prevention and control (IPC) measures include hand hygiene, physical distancing of at least 1 metre, avoidance of touching one’s face, respiratory etiquette, adequate ventilation in indoor settings, testing, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation. Together these measures are critical to prevent human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Depending on the type, masks can be used either for protection of healthy persons or to prevent onward transmission (source control).
  • WHO continues to advise that anyone suspected or confirmed of having COVID-19 or awaiting viral laboratory test results should wear a medical mask when in the presence of others (this does not apply to those awaiting a test prior to travel).
  • For any mask type, appropriate use, storage and cleaning or disposal - are essential to ensure that they are as effective as possible and to avoid an increased transmission risk.


Latest CDC Update on Masks (7 Dec 2020): Click here to read the full article

  • People of age 2 and older should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.​
  • Masks offer some protection to you and are also meant to protect those around you, in case you are unknowingly infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • A mask is NOT a substitute for social distancing. Masks should still be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after touching or removing your mask.
  • Masks may not be necessary when you are outside by yourself away from others, or with other people who live in your household. However, some localities may have mask mandates while out in public and these mandates should always be followed.
  • CDC is still studying the effectiveness of different types of masks and will update our recommendations as new scientific evidence becomes available.



Dr Ashwini Bhangale completed her Bachelor of Dental Surgery from M.G.V’S K.B.H Dental College and Hospital, Nasik, and graduated in the year 2020. She is currently working as an associate dentist at Orbit Dental Care, Mumbai. Ashwini has done several projects in fabricating innovative habit-breaking appliances for thumb-sucking.


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