South Bend, WA. – Dr. Steven Krager, Pacific County Health Officer, provided some insight on things to consider when deciding to wear a mask.
Staying home except for essential trips and ensuring you remain at least 6 feet away from others when in public are still the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19. But non-medical masks may be used to supplement those efforts.
Here are two things to consider before deciding whether to wear a mask:
When a person who is already infected with the virus (even if they don’t have symptoms) wears a fabric mask, it may help prevent the spread of infection to others. The mask can block droplets from spreading when the person coughs, sneezes or, to a lesser degree, speaks.
It’s unknown how much protection homemade fabric masks provide to the person wearing the mask. The amount of protection may depend on the quality of the mask and how well it fits. This is why fabric masks should not be considered reliable protection, but they may provide some benefit.
To be effective, masks should be worn consistently. Be sure to wash hands before putting on a fabric mask and after taking it off, and be careful not to touch your face with unwashed hands if adjusting the mask. Fabric masks should be changed when moist and washed after use. Masks that are worn may be contaminated.