What are the current WHO guidelines on masks during COVID-19?

Bottom Line:

The WHO advises that governments should apply a risk-based approach when encouraging the general public to wear masks in specific situations and settings as part of a comprehensive approach to curb COVID-19 transmission.

Reference:

Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19. World Health Organization (2020). https://apps.who.int/iris/rest/bitstreams/1279750/retrieve

Date Published:

5 June 2020

Synopsis:

The World Health Organization (WHO) reaffirmed that COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets (within one metre). Transmission may also occur through fomites. Aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) represent a specific circumstance that may also lead to COVID-19 transmission. There is also emerging evidence on the role of presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission; however, current evidence suggests most transmission of COVID-19 is occurring from symptomatic people. WHO supports targeted continuous masking practice by healthcare workers in clinical areas in regions with community transmission. WHO advises that governments should apply a risk-based approach when encouraging the general public to wear masks in specific situations and settings as part of a comprehensive approach to curb COVID-19 transmission.

Summary by: David Lee