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CDC: Wear Cloth Face Coverings In Public Settings, Grocery Stores


Last updated 4/4/2020 at 1:49pm

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Editor's Note: The following information comes from Transylvania County Public Health.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has announced updated guidance recommending wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

This change comes after recent studies have shown that people who do not have symptoms can transmit the virus to others.

Face masks can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. If you choose to wear a face mask, follow these guidelines:

•People can use simple cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost. If you want to make your own mask, use a tightly-woven cotton or a non-woven breathable fabric. Many patterns and instructions are available online if you want to sew a mask.

•Do not wear surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders.

•Cloth masks should be worn over your mouth and nose. They should fit snugly across the bridge of your nose and your cheeks. The purpose is to capture droplets that come out as you cough, sneeze, talk and breathe.

Avoid touching the front or the inside of the mask. Avoid touching the parts of your face covered by the mask.

•Change the mask when it becomes wet.

•Remove the mask by untying or remove the ear loops and holding the mask by the straps. Wash your hands before and after removing the mask.

•Clean any surface where you have laid the mask down, as it may spread virus particles to any surfaces it touches.

•Wash cloth masks in a washing machine with hot water and completely dry on medium or high heat. Wash your hands after laundering the mask.

•In addition, you should continue to take the following precautions at all times:

•Stay home as much as possible.

•Avoid groups and stay at least 6 feet away from other people.

•Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol before and after encounters with other individuals or touching surfaces that are touched often such as doorknobs, tables, light switches and faucets.

•Avoid face-to-face interactions with individuals with signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection, including fever, cough and sore throat.

•Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth with your hands.


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