This information has been reviewed and approved by Patricia George, MD (January 2021).
The coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus. It can be spread when infected and asymptomatic people exhale during breathing, speaking, singing, coughing and sneezing, and by touching contaminated surfaces.
Wearing facemasks and washing hands are the best ways to protect you from the virus.
Masks reduce airborne transmission
Infectious aerosol particles can be released during breathing and speaking by asymptomatic infected individuals. No masking maximizes exposure, whereas universal masking results in the least exposure.
Not wearing a mask puts people at the highest risk of catching an infection.
No mask means no protection.
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The information on our website is medically reviewed and accurate at the time of publication. Due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, information may have since changed. CDC.gov and your state’s health department may offer additional guidance.