Information provided by San Benito County Public Information Officer David Westrick.
What more can we do to protect ourselves?
Our best community and individual defense against COVID-19 is washing our hands frequently, avoiding touching our eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoiding being around sick people and physical distancing, especially by staying at home.
There may also be a benefit in wearing a face covering to reduce transmission from sick people or from people who have no symptoms, who are unaware that they may be sick and shedding the virus.
Remember however, that a face covering must be used along with all of the other protective and preventative measures. It will not help “flatten the curve” if you go out more or stop taking other protective measures!
What is a cloth face covering?
A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, pillow cases or cotton sheets.
How well do cloth face coverings work to prevent spread of COVID-19?
There is limited evidence to prove how effective they might be. Their primary role is to reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has COVID-19 but feels well. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for physical social distancing and washing your hands.
When should I wear a cloth face covering?
You may choose to wear a cloth face covering when you must be in public for essential activities, such as shopping at the grocery store. Wearing a cloth face covering does not eliminate the need to physically distance yourself from others. You may also choose to wear a cloth face covering if you have been deemed an essential employee and are interacting with the public.
How should I care for a cloth face covering?
It’s a good idea to wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Have a bag or bin to keep cloth face coverings in until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face. Discard cloth face coverings that:
* No longer cover the nose and mouth
* Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps
* Cannot stay on the face
* Have holes or tears in the fabric
We have attached a number of “do it yourself” videos that show you how to make these coverings at home. Remember these are always used in addition to all the other necessary protective measures. Stay at home, but when you must go out or report to work, keep your distance and wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer and don’t touch you face.
The masks below are just samples – Choose one that that fits your age and lifestyle. There are many styles and types to choose from on the internet. Make sure that your mask stays in good repair and is washed daily. Do not use on infants or toddlers where there could be a choking hazard.
No Sewing Required Masks:
Masks Requiring Sewing – https://www.chop.edu/how-make-
BenitoLink is a nonprofit news website that reports on San Benito County. Our team is working around the clock during this time when accurate information is essential. It is expensive to produce local news and community support is what keeps the news flowing. Please consider supporting BenitoLink, San Benito County’s news.