To wear a mask in public or not? Experts weigh in

It’s the question no one has a firm answer on: Should everyone be wearing face masks when they're out and about?

Right now, the CDC guidelines say those who are healthy don’t need to. But there is talk, that could change.

The CDC has been talking about reviewing their guidelines on who should be wearing a mask and that means more people may have to make their own.

“That discussion is picking up in the last day at the federal level,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “We’ve heard federal leaders, Dr. Fauci and others beginning to advise that’s not a bad idea.”

The issue is that there may be people with COVID-19, who have only mild or no symptoms, and are unknowingly spreading the virus.

“There’s even a certain percentage of people who might not have any symptoms and might be infected with it and there’s some that think that estimate is higher than we suspected,” said Dr. Susan Kline, a professor of medicine within the University of Minnesota’s Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine.

A mask, could help stop that spread, but there could be a downside.

“If you were to require the general public to wear them, there probably would be no supply to meet demand,” said Kline.

That’s where homemade masks come in as a way to keep surgical masks for those on the front lines and sewn ones for everyone else.

“It doesn’t have to look pretty, it just has to serve a purpose,” said Lolita Cox, the president of the St. Paul chapter of the American Sewing Guild, who has been sewing masks.

To make the masks, the American Sewing Guild has shared some patterns online. The masks can be made with a machine or by hand. Cox suggests using a material that is tightly woven and breathable.