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Coronavirus Updates

The World Health Organization (WHO) published updated guidelines for the use of masks with regard to COVID-19, according to an announcement on Friday morning.

The new guidance is:

  • In areas with widespread transmission, all healthcare workers should wear medical masks, not only workers dealing with COVID-19 patients.
  • In areas with community transmission, people 60 years old or older or those with underlying conditions should wear a medical mask when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where widespread transmission and physical distancing are difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or other confined or crowded environments.
  • Fabric masks should consist of at least three layers of different material.

According to the full report, an ideal fabric mask should consist of:

  1. An innermost layer of a hydrophilic material (e.g. cotton or cotton blends)
  2. An outermost layer made of hydrophobic material (e.g., polypropylene, polyester, or their blends) which may limit external contamination from penetration through to the wearer's nose and mouth
  3. A middle hydrophobic layer of synthetic non-woven material such as polyproplylene or a cotton layer which may enhance filtration or retain droplets.

The announcement, made by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, started by reaffirming previous guidance. "Masks should only ever be used as part of a comprehensive strategy in the fight against COVID," said Ghebreyesus. "[They] are not a replacement for physical distancing, hand hygiene and other public health measures."

A transcript of the announcement is available here, or read the full report.

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HD Live! Videos

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Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Anthony Fauci about the latest on COVID-19, including the vaccines, the infection rates and the future.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! is a conference wrap-up of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2020.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, American Heart Association President-Elect, for a summary of the highlights of the AHA Scientific Sessions 2020.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation at the University of Michigan, and Brian Blase, who served as a healthcare adviser to President Trump from 2017-2019 and is now president and CEO of Blase Policy Strategies.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.