The USA could soon be encouraging Americans to wear face masks or scarves. There has been a lot of talk about whether or not face masks are effective in helping slow down the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The government is set to encourage Americans to use homemade face coverings like cloth masks, bandanas and scarves. The WHO and other health organisations have recommended that people who are not sick do not need to wear masks or cover their face. However, other organisations say face masks can slow the spread of the virus. They point to countries like Singapore and South Korea, where people wear masks and reported infection rates are lower.
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Health experts in the USA believe that wearing a mask could reduce the risk of people spreading the virus and give a little protection to those who have not contracted it. Health officials are worried that if everyone rushes out to buy masks, there may not be enough for nurses, doctors and other key workers. They also say that a mask could make the problem worse because people might feel safe wearing one and mix more with other people. Another thing health experts are worried about is that homemade masks are insufficient to prevent people from catching the virus. The White House said: "The most important thing is the social distancing, washing your hands and not touching your face."