Data show that high-quality, well-fitting masks are effective at reducing the transmission of COVID-19, and that they are likely effective at reducing the transmission of flu and RSV. Health experts continue to study the use of masks and which viruses can be prevented from spreading by wearing masks. 

Wearing a mask is highly recommended after becoming sick with a respiratory virus. After your symptoms resolve and you return to your normal activities, it is recommended that you wear a high-quality mask for 5 days, especially when indoors or around others at high risk of respiratory illness complications.

Regardless of hospitalizations or current mask guidance, anyone can choose to wear a mask as an additional precaution to protect themselves and their families from respiratory infections.

Updated March 5, 2024