In early April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that citizens across the United States wear face coverings when in public. The advice comes after recent studies have emerged around the spread and transmission of COVID-19, where research indicates those who don’t show symptoms of the corona virus or are asymptomatic, can still transmit the illness to others when at a reasonable distance.
It is being advised that face coverings be used when in public, like at the pharmacy or grocery stores. With that said, face coverings do not mean that social distancing should not be practiced, this coming from America’s Surgeon General, Jerome Adams. When entering a public space, people still need to remain a minimum of six feet apart.
It’s also important to note that the general public is encouraged to wear face coverings, not face masks or N-95 respirators, which are in dire need for frontline healthcare workers battling this pandemic right now, as these personal protective equipment items are in short supply and high demand.
Therefore, if you are headed out to pick up some groceries and medication, try making a homemade facial covering using a bandana, scarf, or hand towel. There are plenty of tutorials out there to help even those who aren’t the craftiest, along with this.
As per the CDC, homemade face coverings should meet the following requirements in order to be effective:
Fit comfortably, but snug, against your face
Secure with ties around the ears or loops
Multiple layers of fabric
Breathing should be allowed without restriction
Should be machine washed and dried without damage/change to its shape
It’s important to note that face coverings need to be laundered regularly, if worn frequently, and throwing them in the washing machine is fine, as per the CDC. Do not touch your eyes when taking your mask off.
As infants and toddlers could have issues with breathing, facial coverings should not be worn by kids that are under two years of age.
ABC 11 reported that while the U.S. government has recommended wearing facial coverings when out in public, if someone chooses not to, it is certainly not against the law or illegal to do so as of right now. Local officials, like the mayors of L.A. and New York City, have also released facial covering recommendations in public spaces.
Interestingly enough, Laredo, a city in Texas, recently issued an ordinance that requires individuals in the region to cover their face and mouth, facing a $1,000 fine if they fail to do so. Laredo has an approximate 260,000 population that has seen over 80 and five deaths (as of April 4th), due to COVID-19.