|Face Coverings - Safely Reuse or Dispose|
|April 22, 2020|
To slow the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends the use of cloth face coverings in public settings where appropriate social distancing could be difficult to maintain, like in line at the grocery store or pharmacy. The purpose, according to the CDC, is to “protect other people, in case you’re infected.” Gov. Tom Wolf and Pa. Department of Health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine ordered that all workers and customers at essential businesses are required to wear masks starting Sunday, April 19, at 8 p.m.
Even talking could transmit droplets that become aerosolized and could spread COVID-19, as demonstrated in a visualization video experiment detailed in The New England Journal of Medicine published Wednesday, April 15. Using laser light-scattering technology, it showed a researcher talking, both with and without a face covering, and then with a slightly damp washcloth over the mouth. There appeared to be a reduction in the visible droplets when a facial covering was worn. This experiment illustrated the benefits that face coverings can provide in real-life situations.
Since the goal is to prevent airborne droplets from spreading, the CDC offers several guidelines to ensure people wear and use their cloth face covering correctly. It should fully cover a person’s nose and mouth, be secured with ties or ear loops, and include multiple layers of fabric. While the cloth mask should fit snugly, it should also allow you to breathe comfortably.
There are also recommendations for washing or disposing of masks or cloth face coverings depending on the type you use. The way you remove, store, wash, or dispose of your mask or cloth face covering does matter. The Skippack Fire Company would like to remind everyone that “microwaving their masks to kill germs” is a fire hazard and an extremely bad idea. Cloth masks can overheat quickly and catch fire. Disposable masks also have a metal nose wire and can cause sparks, a fire, and/or break your microwave.
Visit the CDC website for more information and guidance:
Stay home, stay safe and stay healthy!