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Are you spreading coronavirus? Why you need to wear a mask or face-covering, what to use

The CDC estimates 25 percent of people who have the virus are spreading it and don't know it. A mask or covering helps keep your germs from spreading.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Do I need to wear a mask? Do homemade masks really help that much? How dangerous is it to not wear a mask?
These are just a few of the many mask questions you're asking, and for good reason. At first, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told us all: If you're not sick, don't wear a mask and leave the masks for healthcare workers.

RELATED: Here's how to make your own face mask if you don't have a sewing machine

The price of masks shot up. They were and still are in short supply.

A few days ago, the CDC changed its recommendation and told people they should cover their mouths and noses with something. What changed? The CDC now thinks at least 25 percent of people who have coronavirus could show no signs they're sick and they're spreading it without knowing it.

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So, the thinking is, everyone should wear the mask or face covering. But let’s be clear, it's not actually for your safety.

“Masking is important to protect others from you, not you from others,” said Cone Health’s Dr. Bruce Swords. “And so, the idea is if you have a mask on, your breathing and the vapor from your breath wouldn't transmit into the air like it would without a mask. Breathing through a mask, there are so many ways for the air to get in. Masks are not a good way to prevent us from getting an infection, but it's to prevent us from giving the infection.”

The recommendation is to use whatever you have, scarves, bandanas, my mom made me this Gator mask from extra material she had. 2WTK’s Ben Briscoe has a how-to video whether you can sew or not. It's right here on the website and on our Facebook pages.  

Again, the idea of the face-covering is to prevent you -- who may be carrying the virus and not know it -- from spreading it to someone else.

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