President Donald Trump announced new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommending Americans should now be wearing some type of cloth over their face in public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Health officials say even a makeshift cloth mask, will give you another layer of protection when you are out in public -- as medical or surgical grade masks should be reserved for health care workers who are in desperate need of them.
New information from health experts show the coronavirus is more contagious than they first thought: "Maybe even through animated talking or breathing heavily, that that may also be a means of transmission," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County health officer.
The new revelation is why the CDC now recommends Americans wear non-medicals masks when out in public.
"Any kind of protection you can have from keeping that virus from getting into your nasal passages and mucous membranes, is a lot better than just walking around with nothing on your face," said Dr. Eric Sorensen, Central Coast Urgent Care Inc. medical director.
While N-95 respirators should be saved for medical professionals, a protective mask can be an everyday item or something already in your home.
"Be it a homemade mask, a cloth, a bandanna, a scarf, anything that puts a barrier between you and the other individuals in your sights," said Dr. Borenstein.
Catherine Doyle started making cloth masks after her business was forced to close.
"I've made about 85 masks," said Doyle, owner of Mannikins Tailoring.
After posting on Facebook that she was making masks, she's received calls from people living locally, staff at Cal Poly, and even healthcare workers.
"I was wearing masks on and off, but now I'm wearing masks every time I go out in public," said Doyle.
"When you go into a store or into a gas station of some sort, you need to have something on, I truly believe that," said Dr. Sorensen.
Health officials stress covering your face is not a substitute for social distancing, but they say this mask will be in fact a way to slow the spread of the virus to others, in case you are infected.
If you do wear a mask and plan on reusing it health officials say to make sure to wash it when you take it off.