Why are face masks required in public?

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is thought to spread from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses* of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

For this reason, face masks and social distancing are the most effective ways to protect yourself and protect others from becoming infected with COVID-19.

*COVID-19 can also be transmitted through respiratory droplets that may infect the mucous membranes of the eyes, glasses can serve as a protective barrier for the eyes.