Wear a mask when you go to the grocery store

The country’s first 5,000 deaths from the coronavirus occurred in just over a month. The second 5,000 came in less than five days.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reversed its earlier position on face masks to now recommend that people wear homemade ones in public, McClatchy News previously reported.

While cloth surgical masks provide little protection against viruses, they can help prevent people who already have coronavirus, perhaps without knowing it, from spreading the virus to others.

The CDC advises that people use homemade cloth coverings so the supply of disposable surgical masks and N95 respirator masks, which provide greater protection against viruses, goes to hospitals and medical professionals.

How often should I clean cloth face coverings?

Wash homemade cloth face masks or coverings after each use, advises infectious disease specialist Dr. Daniel Griffin at Columbia University, NPR reports.

“You don’t take this dirty mask off, put it in your purse and then stick it back on your face,” Griffin said, according to the network.

“It’s something that once you put on, is potentially either touching your coughs, sneezes or the spray of your speech, or protecting you from the coughs, spray, speech of other people,” he said, NPR reported. “And now it’s dirty. It needs to basically be either discarded or washed.”