Face Covering Guidance for Citizens

Lincolnton, NC ( Lincoln County Health Department )  –

What is all the buzz about face coverings for the everyday citizen? What is wearing a face cover going to do for you? Should you wear one when you are in public areas? Maybe your sewing skills and access to materials may be limited; but can you still make a homemade face covering? The CDC and The New York Times provide research-based sound answers to these questions and provide tutorials for making face coverings from various materials. However, good hygiene practices, disinfecting regimes, and social distancing are still the best way to minimize the spread of coronavirus. Let’s explore how you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by using a homemade face covering when social distancing is not well controlled.

What is wearing a facemask going to do for you? It allows you to make a positive impact to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community when social distancing is not well controlled. The purpose of the face-covering is to reduce the spread of coronavirus by providing a barrier between the germs that are produced from sneezing and coughing when you do not know you are infected. This type of transmission is defined as a person that is pre-symptomatic because the person is currently not showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, but is potentially able to spread it to others.

Should you wear one when you are in public places? Yes! You can help in the fight against community spread by one simple action of wearing a face-covering in public places. Your simple action could help protect other vulnerable populations in our community who may not be able to recover from the virus if they were to become infected.

Maybe your sewing skills and access to materials is limited; but can you still make a face covering? Absolutely! The CDC has information for several no-sew mask pattern options with the use of items found around the home. The New York Times describes fabric choices. Dr. Scott Segal, chairman of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health suggests using a simple light test to decide if the fabric is a suitable choice for a face covering. “Hold it up to a bright light,” said Dr. Scott Segal. Basically if light comes through the fabric easily, is not a good choice. The better choice is a denser fabric where the light does not pass through as much. Researchers remind that while it is important the fabric is dense, the user must have enough breathing capacity to wear it for a period of time. However, if you have produced a homemade mask that does not meet the light test, or does not produce the best results according to an on-line tutorial, any face-covering allows you to protect against community spread. Be the example to make a positive impact in our community today.

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