NIOBRARA COUNTY – The latest recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest, in the absence of medical-grade facemasks, cloth masks may provide some level of protection against the spread of the novel coronavirus which causes the respiratory illness known as COVID-19.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, including grocery stores and pharmacies, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings 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. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
A recent release from the CDC included answers to common questions, as well as instructions for constructing face masks from items found in the typical home, including t-shirts and coffee filters.
How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings
According to CDC guidelines, cloth face coverings should:
• fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
• be secured with ties or ear loops
• include multiple layers of fabric
• allow for breathing without restriction
• be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned
regularly? How regularly?
Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.
How does one safely sterilize or
clean a cloth face covering?
A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a cloth face covering.
How does one safely remove
a used cloth face covering?
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their cloth face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.
For more information, visit the CDC website at: cdc.gov/coronavirus