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Resources

As our communities face the unprecedented effects of a worldwide pandemic, it remains more important than ever to stay up-to-date and informed about the current situation. Below, you can find several resources to help you, your family, and your community learn more about health safety practices in the midst of COVID-19.

Get the latest public health safety information from the CDC here.

 

How does COVID-19 spread?

According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads from person to person primarily through respiratory droplets that are released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. When these droplets make contact with others via inhalation or contact with the eyes, mouth, and nose, the virus can be easily transmitted. Symptoms will not always be present in the infected. The spread of COVID-19 is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (less than 6 feet), which is why it is important to socially distance yourself from others, even those who are not symptomatic.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Why Wearing a Mask Helps

According to recent studies, mask mandates can significantly slow down the growth rate of COVID-19. By preventing larger expelled droplets from evaporating into smaller, more mobile droplets, masks can help stem rates of virus transmission. Because carriers of COVID-19 may be asymptomatic, mask wearing is especially important to prevent carriers from spreading the virus unknowingly. However, you still benefit from wearing a mask even without carrying the virus.

Source: University of California, San Francisco

 

How to Wear a Mask

  • Be sure to clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer before and after handling your mask.
  • When wearing your mask, identify the inside of the mask--usually the white side. Mold the wire to the shape of your nose and ensure that the mask covers both your nose and chin for a snug fit.
  • When disposing of your mask, do not touch the front of your mask. Instead, remove your mask by the earloops, and immediately dispose it into the trash (preferably a closed bin). Be sure to clean your hands after handling your mask.
  • Wearing a mask alone will not prevent you from being exposed to COVID-19. It is most effective only when combined with other measures, such as washing your hands, remaining at least a six-foot distance from others, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

 

Wear a Mask to Help Protect Others

  • Wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth to help protect others in case you’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms
  • Wear a face covering in public settings when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when it may be difficult for you to stay six feet apart
  • Wear a face covering correctly for maximum protection
  • Don’t put the face covering around your neck or up on your forehead
  • Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect​

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

 

What is the Difference Between a Surgical Mask and an N95 Mask?

Both surgical masks and N95 masks are protective gear that help prevent the spread of viruses. However, they provide different degrees of protection.

Surgical Masks:

  • Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Loose-fitting
  • Protect the wearer from splashes or sprays of hazardous or bodily fluids
  • Prevent the wearer from spreading respiratory emissions to others

N95 Masks:

  • Evaluated, tested, and approved by NIOSH
  • Tight-fitting
  • Protect the wearer by filtering out 95% of airborne particles, large and small
  • Prevent the wearer from spreading respiratory emissions to others

View an infographic from the CDC here.

 

Additional Resources

Infectious Diseases Society of America

https://www.idsociety.org/public-health/COVID-19-Resource-Center/

National Institutes of Health

https://www.nih.gov/coronavirus

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