ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) - St. Louis County is backing the White House and CDC recommendation that Americans should wear a mask in public. Officials say the change can help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The CDC suggests wearing a cloth mask, something you could even make with a t-shirt or towel.

It should be worn at places such as the grocery store, where it can be hard to maintain social distancing.

Saturday afternoon, the majority of the people a News 4 crew saw walking around in public were not wearing masks. A handful had on a surgical mask.

St. Louis County is backing the White House and CDC recommendation that Americans should wear a mask in public. Officials say the change can help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The CDC says to leave the medical masks for the professionals who need them.

The mask should be cloth and include multiple layers of fabric. It should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of your face and be secured with ties or ear loops.

It's also important that the material can be washed regularly. Children under 2-years-old should not wear one along with anyone who has trouble breathing or cannot remove the mask without help.

"It's not for your protection, it's for other people's protection. If you're going out for a walk or walking your dog, which from a cardiologist's standpoint is highly recommended, you may come in contact on the sidewalk or on the paths with somebody. So, if you're worried about that, go ahead and wear that mask so that you protect your neighbors," said Dr. Michael Lim with SLU Hospital.

The CDC provides instructions for how to make your own mask whether you can sew or not.

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