(Glencoe, MN) McLeod County health officials are now recommending wearing face masks in public settings.
Wearing non-medical grade face masks in public settings, such as grocery stores and gas stations, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain is recommended to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Officials say COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
People can spread COVID-19 even when they don’t have symptoms and do not know they are infected.
Officials say a cloth face covering is an extra layer to prevent the droplets from traveling in the air to other people.
Minnesota Department of Health states that 10-50% of virus carriers are asymptomatic. Wearing masks helps control the virus and has been shown to lower COVID-19 spread. We should avoid enclosed spaces with groups of people, where the virus can linger in the air for long periods of time.
“We encourage people to wear face masks in all public settings such as stores, salons, churches as well as restaurants when not eating or drinking,” said Eric Weller, coordinator of South-Central Healthcare Coalition. “Wearing a mask is one of the best ways we can protect our vulnerable neighbors. Your mask protects others and their mask protects you.”
Face masks are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Public Health. To learn more about properly wearing face masks, visit the CDC: How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings. Face masks should not be worn by children under 2 years of age.
Why the concern?
Nathaniel Smith, MD, MPH, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) president and Michael Fraser, chief executive officer of ASTHO are telling Americans that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. COVID-19 remains a threat to many Americans, especially those with underlying chronic conditions.
Officials want to see an end to this virus as much as the residents of their states or territory, but the fact is the virus is still with us. Infections are increasing in many states across the country, hurting our most vulnerable citizens and threatening the health of our most essential workers, and potentially furthering the loss of lives and livelihoods of tens of thousands of Americans.