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Surgeon general urges Americans to 'stop buying masks' for coronavirus

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Posted at 12:50 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 14:50:09-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Surgeon General is urging Americans to “stop buying masks!”

Jerome M. Adams, in the photo above, tweeted the advisory Saturday morning, saying that the face masks are not effective in preventing the general public from catching the novel coronavirus. The respiratory disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19.

Adams went on to warn that if health care providers can’t access the masks to care for sick patients, it could put them and their communities at risk.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. Officials say the use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings, like at home or in a health care facility.

In a second tweet, Adams wrote that the best way to protect yourself and those around you is with everyday preventive actions. Those measures include:

· Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
· Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
· Staying home when you are sick
· Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
· Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
· Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Also on Twitter, Adams debunked some common rumors regarding COVID-19. First, he said diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity.

“People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVID19 than any other American,” Adams wrote.

Next, he wrote that COVID-19 is a serious disease, but the immediate risk to general public is considered low at this time.

Adams also clarified that someone who has completed quarantine or has been release from isolation doesn’t pose a risk of spreading COVID-19 to other people.

Lastly, Adams said that you can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms of the disease, which include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

“If you develop symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms & any recent travel, or close contact to a #COVID19 patient,” he wrote.

As of Monday, six people have died from COVID-19 in America, all in Washington state. Worldwide, more than 3,000 people have passed away as a result of the virus, with a majority in mainland China.

Click here to learn more about the coronavirus.