Fact Check: The CDC DOES Recommend Buying And Using Face Masks, Even If You Are Healthy

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: The CDC DOES Recommend Buying And Using Face Masks, Even If You Are Healthy Obsolete

Did Delaware Health and Social Services produce an infographic flyer that stated, "If you are healthy, the CDC does not recommend buying or using face masks"? Yes, this is a real flyer, but it is outdated advice that was revised after COVID-19 became more widespread. The mask recommendation has been revised and the flyer in this photo was last published in March 2020. It was replaced with an updated version in the infographic downloads available from their website.

The photo of a flyer appeared as a post (archived here) where it was published on July 7, 2020. The flyer titled, "Protect Yourself and Others," has seven points and includes the website address and phone number of the Delaware Health and Social Services Division of Public Health.

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Do not touch your face
  • Clean Surfaces Regularly
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Prevent the flu, get vaccinated
  • If you are healthy, the CDC does not recommend buying or using face masks

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Jul 10 19:53:25 2020 UTC)

Lead Stories reached out to Martin Luta, the Chief of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases at the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, he explained:

These are old graphics and have long since been replaced with updated guidance based on the Governor's Executive Order which required use of face coverings (April 25).

None of the graphics/flyers (in the Facebook post in question) exist on our webpages or social media postings.

There was a period of time when face coverings for healthy people were not recommended by the CDC. On March 9, 2020 the Facebook Page of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) shared this infographic (here)(archived here). Lead Stories marked this outdated infographic to avoid any confusion.

DELNomaskoldAdvice.jpg

The CDC guideline was revised in early April of 2020. This CBS News clip (here)(archived here) shows the April 3, 2020 press briefing from the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Surgeon General Jerome Adams steps up to the mic (about 1:07 into the video clip after President Trump speaks) to explain the changes in the guidelines:

After this policy was updated, The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services posted this new infographic to their Facebook Page. (here)(archived here) The graphic is dated April 8, 2020.

DelawareCovidMask.JPG

The 'Guidance for Face Coverings' page of the Delaware Health and Social Services Coronavirus Response can be found (here)(archived here). Highlighted in the document is this from the Governor:

Governor John Carney issued a modified State of Emergency declaration that requires Delawareans to wear face coverings in public settings, including in grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, doctor's offices, and on public transportation.

  • A cloth face covering is not a substitute for existing guidance about handwashing and social distancing.
  • Delawareans are urged to use cloth face coverings and reserve medical-grade masks for use by health care workers and first responders. Medical-grade masks include N95, KN95, surgical, or other masks that would be appropriate for a health care setting.

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services has made many Coronavirus infographics available to share on social media, in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole language. The downloadable graphics are available (here)(archived here).

The current infographic flyer produced by Delaware Health and Social Services (here)(archived here) it is not identical to the flyer in the Facebook post. This flyer has six points and finishes by stating that Delawareans must wear cloth face coverings in public:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Do not touch your face
  • Clean Surfaces Regularly
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • You must wear cloth face coverings in public

Delaware.pdf

DelMaskPDF.jpg

Lead Stories has fact checked many misleading claims about feace masks, including these most recently:

Fact Check: Walmart Can And Does Require All Shoppers To Wear Face Masks; 'Reference Number' Will Not Exempt You

Fact Check: People Not Wearing Masks Can NOT Be Reported to (281) 330-8004

Fact Check: The CDC Did NOT Say That Cloth Masks 'Do Not Filter Anything' And Wearing One 'Risks Your Health'

Fact Check: Truck Driver NOT Found Dead With COVID-19 On California Highway With Load Of COVID-19 Contaminated Face Masks

Fact Check: Wearing A Mask Does NOT Remove Your Ability To Legally Carry A Concealed Carry Weapon

Fact Check: Test Does NOT Show Face Masks Cause Oxygen Levels To Drop Into The 'Danger Zone'

Fact Check: Ear Loop Masks Meant To Protect Others From Coronavirus (NOT Yourself)

Fact Check: Meme Claiming Five Reasons Not To Wear A Face Mask Is Misleading

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Southeastern Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


 

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