Health Officials Urge Residents to Wear a Mask, Slow the Spread Of COVID-19


US-HEALTH-VIRUS

US-HEALTH-VIRUS

COVID-19 has changed the world in ways most people couldn't have imagined just one year ago. Lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and working from home became our new normal as the coronavirus spread across the state and world.

But, even as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in California, the state is seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Several counties have already reported their COVID-19 numbers are stabilizing (and even falling in some cases), allowing some businesses to reopen. In fact, hair salons and barbershops in Los Angeles County were given the go-ahead to reopen with 25% capacity this week thanks to the region's recently improving numbers.

However, health officials are warning Californians that these small victories will be instantly erased if people ignore public health guidance by going out in public without a face covering or by gathering in large groups.

The data supports this. Earlier this year, just as many counties began to ease their lockdowns and stay at home orders, allowing bars and restaurants to reopen, the number of COVID-19 cases spiked, bringing on a second wave of cases.

Health officials say if California is going to get back to normal, one of the best ways is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask in combination with everyday preventive actions and social distancing in public settings.

According to the CDC's Website the best way to avoid catching the virus is by:

Wearing your Mask Correctly

  • Wash your hands before putting on your mask
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
  • Make sure you can breathe easily
  • CDC does not recommend use of masks or cloth masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent

Wearing a Mask to Protect Others

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect others in case you’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms
  • Wear a mask in public settings when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when it may be difficult for you to stay six feet apart
  • Wear a mask correctly for maximum protection
  • Don’t put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead
  • Don’t touch the mask, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect​

Following Everyday Health Habits

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

Taking Off Your Mask Carefully, When You’re Home

  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
  • Handle only by the ear loops or ties
  • Fold outside corners together
  • Place mask in the washing machine (learn more about how to wash masks)
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

Photo: Getty Images

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