The Trump administration is working to finalize new guidance that would recommend more Americans wear face masks in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, according to a NBC News report.
A person familiar with the White House coronavirus task force told them that officials would soon suggest that people use non-medical masks, T-shirts or bandannas to cover their nose and mouth when outside their home.
We asked a Hartford Healthcare expert about what's referred to as "universal masking."
Dr. Henry Anyimadu, an infectious disease expert at Hartford Healthcare, says he in no way way wants to divert masks from health care workers who need them, but some type of covering could make a difference.
"It’s not so much about you protecting yourself from getting the infection, it’s more about you preventing the spread of the infection if you have it," he said.
While he says there’s not a lot of research to back up "universal masking” it could make an impact since people without symptoms are spreading coronavirus.
"In this desperate situation, I think any little thing at all that we can do to mitigate the spread of this virus will be helpful," he said,
NBC Connecticut reporters heard mixed reviews about wearing masks from grocery shoppers they spoke to in Hartford while maintaining a safe social distance.
“I believe that God's got me covered. If I’m supposed to get sick,” said Kayla Sumpter, of Hartford. "We’re not being fools, we’re still washing out hands, but I think the mask is a little much.”
"People have the masks and they pull it down, scratch their face. It’s kind of crazy," said her husband. Andre Sumpter.
"A lot of people 10 people in a group, 20 people in a group. Hanging on a corner by a liquor store. Be safe. Be home don’t come out here," said Roderick Arnold, of Hartford, who was wearing a mask to shop.
He says he doesn't care what people think of him. He wants to do everything in his power to keep his wife and teenage daughter safe.
Dr. Anyimadu says the virus can go through something, a bandana or shirt covering your face, but he says if you’re covering your nose and mouth it could help prevent any of your potential virus carrying droplets from going out into the public.