The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that people cover up their faces when they heading out in public. Some larger cities, like Los Angeles, are making this mandatory, and many across the nation are busy whipping up DIY cloth face masks if they can’t get their hands on ones elsewhere.
But medical professionals want you to know that wearing some sort of face protection ― whether store-bought or homemade ― is not an excuse to forgo social distancing mandates.
“As far as face masks versus social distancing by at least 6 feet, the face masks do not replace social distancing,” said Peter Gulick, an infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at Michigan State University.
He added that makeshift masks may be useful in situations like grocery stores and pharmacies where you cannot always guarantee the 6-foot rule, but these masks should not be used as a replacement for the rule.