Photo Adopted from Science Photo Library/ Getty Images; South China Morning Post/Getty Images
According to the CDC, wearing a mask will not protect people from the novel Coronavirus because it will not stop the wearer from inhaling small airborne particles that causes infection.
Also, these masks do not form a tight and secure seal around the face. Thus, CDC recommends that surgical masks should only be reserved for people that already show symptoms of coronavirus who must go outside, since doing so will help prevent the spread of the virus. The agency also recommends that masks be worn for caregivers who are in constant contact with people infected with the virus.
There is also no need for individuals to use N-95 respirators--the tight-fitting masks designed for filtering out 95% of particles as they should only be reserved for healthcare workers. Also, N-95 respirators come in different sizes so the wearer should be fit-test before wearing it.
Additional information about how to use a mask properly as per the W.H.O.:
Center for Disease Control