FAIRBANKS, AK State health officials are now saying to wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, like grocery stores and pharmacies.
Scientific evidence suggests that people with no symptoms of COVID-19 are capable of spreading the virus to others when in close proximity. This can be done by speaking, coughing, or sneezing.
Officials say to wear a face covering in public settings and make sure it covers the nose and mouth. Do not remove the covering until you return home; and when removing the face covering, avoid touching the front of the face covering – because it could be contaminated.
The guidance say to remove the mask by grasping its ear loops, ties or band, and place it in designated container for washing. Then wash your hands immediately after removing the face covering, and before touching anything else.
Face coverings should be washed in hot, soapy water between each use.
Officials warn people not rely on face coverings as the primary way to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Continue to follow social distancing measures, including maintaining at least six feet between yourself and others, staying at home, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands frequently.
“I do not have specifically designed homemade mask,” Mark Simon an emergency physician at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital said. “But I do have things around the house that will work perfectly well." Simon showed us a "necky from JN 2013." He then said "I put this on, it covers my nose, it covers my mouth. Any droplets that would normally spread out into the air are now increasingly contained by the fabric within this mask.”
The physician said an outdoor facemask or scarf works well too. “I have a scarf that I can fashion like so,” Simon said before demonstrating. “Wrap it around, wrap it around and again I have another perfectly designed homemade mask to help limit my potential for spreading infection to others. “
State Health Officials say not to wear commercial N-95 or surgical masks; these are needed by health care workers and first responders.
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