The Medical College of Wisconsin agrees with the new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the use of cloth face coverings for the general public.
The backing for its use is based on research on COVID-19, which shows the virus is spread easily and can live within a person who doesn’t show symptoms for up to the week.
The recommendation is for individuals to wear cloth face coverings over their mouth and nose. Recommended face coverings include scarves, bandanas and cloth masks.
“Our goal is to never reach a time when there is a shortage of hospital resources, including ICU beds and breathing machines, for patients in need,” said John Raymond, Sr., President and CEO of the Medial College of Wisconsin. “Every individual action counts. People wearing a cloth face covering in public places like the grocery store or pharmacy will help to flatten the curve, by reducing the spread of COVID-19.”
The cloth face masks does not eliminate the need to continue social distancing, which is to keep at least six feet between people.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the recommendations are:
- Maintain social distancing, remaining six feet away from others;
- Clean hands frequently (soap and water for at least 20 seconds or hand sanitizer);
- Wear a cloth face covering in public over mouth and nose (this can be a scarf, bandana or a cloth mask). Even with the cloth face covering on, continue to use social distancing, remaining six feet away from others;
- Before and after putting on cloth face covering, wash hands with soap and water;
- Do not touch the cloth face covering while it is being worn;
- Do not touch face, eyes, nose, or mouth, even when wearing a cloth face covering;
- Save N95 masks, surgical grade masks and face shields for healthcare workers.
The Medical College of Wisconsin also recommends that everyone follows Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” orders, as our region still has several more weeks before we reach our projected peak of positive cases of COVID-19.