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Posted on: April 6, 2020

Health officer encourages use of cloth face coverings to help slow spread of COVID-19

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Kenosha County Health Officer Dr. Jen Freiheit is encouraging the public to follow a recent federal recommendation, urging people to wear a cloth face covering in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory suggests that cloth face coverings be worn in places like grocery stores and pharmacies, especially in areas of significant, community-based transmission of COVID-19. 

Kenosha County is a place where significant, community-based transmission has occurred since our very first case, Freiheit said. The recommendation from the CDC is aimed at preventing spread of the virus by people who may be carrying it but are not showing symptoms.

“Wearing a cloth face covering when you go out for essential errands is yet another tool we can deploy to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community, although self-quarantine, social distancing, and hand washing are still our best tools,” Freiheit said. “It is important that these masks be worn to cover both the nose and mouth.”

Homemade masks are not intended to protect the wearer per se, but to protect against the unintended transmission of asymptomatic persons. The CDC recommends that these cloth face coverings be homemade masks, not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which are critical supplies that should continue to be reserved for health care workers and first responders. 

The CDC has more information about this recommendation – including instructions to make your own masks at home – at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

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