The Centers For Disease Control and Infection (CDC), Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton recommend and urge that Ohioans begin wearing cloth face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings in those areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain such as grocery stores and pharmacies, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Wearing a mask will not prevent someone from contracting COVID-19, but it can help prevent them from spreading it to others -- especially if they have it, but are not yet showing symptoms.
Wearing a cloth mask in public is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended. Cloth masks are not a substitute for social distancing, but rather, it is a complement to social distancing.
Cloth face coverings should:
- Fit tightly but comfortably to the side of your face.
- Be secured to your head with ties or ear loops.
- Be constructed from multiple layers of cotton fabric.
- Allow for adequate breathing without restriction.
- Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage.
- Visit cdc.gov or watch this video from the Surgeon General for information on making your own cloth face coverings.
Medical supply masks, such as N95 respirators, must be reserved for healthcare workers, first responders, and those who are known to be sick. Cloth face coverings should not be used for children under the age of 2 years, individuals who are unconscious, having trouble breathing or are unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
Along with the cloth face coverings, it still remains important to continue to follow standard precautions to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Steps that residents can take to slow the spread of the virus include:
- Maintain a six-foot distance from other individuals.
- Wash your cloth face cover routinely in the washing machine.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
- Stay home if you have cold- or flu-like symptoms, for seven days after your illness onset or three days after your fever resolves without fever reducing medicine, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
For more information about the coronavirus situation in Summit County visit https://www.scph.org/covid-19. If you have questions, call the COVID-19 Call Line at (330) 926-5795. The call line is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. M-F and 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.