There's been ongoing debate about who should wear masks as the nation struggles with a shortage of protective equipment.
Dr. Thomas Brandecker is an internist and geriatrician in the Lehigh Valley. He does not work in a hospital setting. He has a limited supply of masks for he and his staff, but they've chosen not to wear them. Instead, they're asking patients to wear them.
"So they are not spreading their droplets around the office," Dr. Brandecker said. "I realize what I've been saying is a little bit radical, but it may work."
Brandecker said that approach may better protect his staff since they don't have N95s or eyeware. Those masks are more air tight and Brandecker said those should be reserved for hospital staff on the front lines.
"They are the ones that desperately need to have more protective equipment," Brandecker said.
He urged people who have them to donate them to hospitals.
Brandecker's office has also started doing more televisits, and he and his partner work opposite shifts. That way, if one of them gets ill, the entire office isn't in quarantine and they can still serve patients.
"That way if we are exposed, only half of the office has been exposed," Brandecker said.
There's also talk that the Centers for Disease Control may change its stance and suggest everyone in public wear masks, though reserve medical grade ones for those in healthcare.
The CDC has been saying that masks aren't necessary unless you're symptomatic, or taking care of someone who is sick.
"I think that's been one of the driving forces of potentially rethinking this mask policy, is that if we're seeing a lot of spread from asymptomatic people then potentially having them wear masks could decrease transmission," said Dr. Patrick Gavigan, an infectious disease physician at Penn State Children's Hospital.
"The data on these things, as far as universal mask wearing, are not exactly where we'd like it to be as far as black and white showing us they definitely help or don't help," Gavigan said. "The overall trend tends to be that masks may help a little bit in preventing an infection."
Some Asian countries have implemented universal mask wearing.
"They've done a little bit better of flattening their curve. It's tough to know if it's all related to universal mask wearing or more to stricter quarantine and isolation measures, better tracking, and testing," Gavigan said.
Gavigan said it's important that the mask is worn properly.
"You want it to cover your nose and your mouth, you want it to have it as tight a seal you can, while still be able to breathe, and limit the number of times you touch that mask," Gavigan.