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Face masks may become seasonal after pandemic

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 5:15 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Even with more people getting COVID shots, you may not want to put away your face masks.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Infectious Disease Advisor to the White House, says people may decide to continue to wear masks seasonally.

Dr. Fauci said some people may have gotten used to the idea and they might continue to wear face masks even after the pandemic is over.

You still see a lot of people wearing masks. The CDC has eased guidelines on wearing masks outdoors if you are around small crowds and those who are vaccinated.

“We don’t have a good crystal ball as to what the seasonal outlook will look like for COVID-19. What I can say is masks are an important tool to stop the spread of a lot of respiratory diseases that are spread through coughing and breathing,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford.

Since wearing face coverings became mandatory last year and early this year, the country as well as Alabama saw a low amount of flu cases.

Dr. Willeford said face masks are the chief reason why. “What happens if we have a really bad flu season one year. We have cases surging and hospitals quite full, masks are something people can utilize to slow down the spread,” Willeford said.

Dr. Willeford and other health leaders understand people are tired of wearing masks, but many did get used to the idea of wearing them to slow the spread of the pandemic so many could be open to the idea of continuing to wear masks.

“Masks had been talked about for a long time before COVID-19 on whether it would be a good intervention at the population level. We didn’t have a good way to prove that until after COVID-19,” Willeford said.

Willeford said now multiple test shows masks work. He said there are still concerns about COVID-19. Face mask mandates are dropping. He and other doctors still urge people to get vaccinated to slow the spread of the very infectious disease.

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