06 May Face Covering Safety
With the May 1 requirement in Illinois that everyone over that age of two is required to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when in a public place, below outlines some answers to frequently asked questions on why, how and when to use face coverings.
Why wear face coverings?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings such as scarves, bandanas or masks that cover your nose and mouth in public settings. This is especially important in places where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as grocery stores and pharmacies.
A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but it may prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important if someone is infected, but does not have symptoms.
How do I properly wear a face covering?
Cloth face coverings should:
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
When should I wear a face covering?
If you are not sick, you should wear a face covering when you need to leave home and might be within six feet of others. Examples include riding the train or bus, walking on a busy street, going to pharmacies and grocery stores, or going to the doctor or a hospital.
People who are sick should wear a face covering when leaving their home for essential reasons and while at home, particularly if they are sick and need to be within six feet of others who share their home.
It is also important to remember that wearing a mask does not replace the need to stay at least six feet away from other people (social distancing) in public areas, frequent hand cleaning and follow other everyday preventive actions.