To mask or not to mask, that is the question, and experts at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given a definitive yes to masking as a way for the general public to protect others, and possibly themselves, from COVID-19.
By covering your nose and mouth with a mask or face covering when you must go in public, you are helping to protect others during this pandemic because even if you don’t feel ill, you have the potential to spread COVID-19 to others.
While all people – sick or well – should be self-isolating, there may be a need to go in public for necessities like medicine and groceries. When that occurs, it’s important to wear a cloth mask that covers your nose and mouth. The CDC advises against using masks on children under age 2 or people who have trouble breathing or would be unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The CDC also advises that masking is not a replacement for social distancing and people should still stay about six feet from each other.
Removing and laundering your mask
Doing proper removal of the mask is critical, the CDC says. While removing your mask, don’t touch your face and immediately wash your hands following removal.
When determining what kind of face covering you need, remember that the CDC recommends masks should be made of multiple layers of fabric, allow for easy breathing and fit snug against the side of the face while being secured with ear loops or ties. Launder your face mask regularly depending on how often it is used. The CDC provides information on making your own face covering.
Protecting Healthcare Workers
Because of shortages of critical personal protective equipment for health care workers, the CDC cautions against using any kind of face cover meant for our health care heroes. You can also help with this shortage by donating or helping to make face masks for Banner Health’s frontline workers.
If you have an appointment or procedure scheduled at any Banner Health facility, you should wear your own mask or any face covering. No patients or visitors should walk into a facility without a CDC-approved face covering.