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Martin Health Department Urges Use of Face Coverings in Public

By Renay Rouse

April 24, 2020

The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is urging members of the public to wear cloth face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted guidance on cloth face coverings to its website:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/clothface-cover.html.

According to the CDC, a “significant portion of individuals with coronavirus” do not experience symptoms. As a result, these individuals can unknowingly spread the virus to those around them.

“In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission,” writes the CDC. Cloth face coverings can help prevent those who may have COVID-19 and not know it from spreading the virus to those around them.

“Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure,” writes the CDC. “The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.”

The website features a short video of U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams fashioning a homemade face covering out of common household items, as well as tips on how to wear and clean face coverings.

The CDC continues to urge people to remain at home as much as possible and practice social distancing, remaining 6 feet away from all others to help prevent spread of COVID-19.

Additional prevention tips include:

Wash your hands often with soap.
Keep away from people who are sick.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
Avoid all cruise travel and nonessential air travel

Martin County residents who believe they may have COVID-19 are asked to call their healthcare provider for guidance. The DOH-Martin call center is available, Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, 772-221-4000, option #9.

For general information on COVID-19 in Florida, visit
www.floridahealth.gov/covid-19, email covid-19@flhealth.govor call (866) 779-6121.