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Beginning May 1, 2020 Illinoisans were required to start wearing a face mask or cloth face covering in public — another step to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, while visiting your doctor, and traveling on public transportation.
The virus can spread via respiratory droplets between people interacting in close proximity, such as coughing, sneezing or talking. Read more about how COVID-19 spreads. Wearing a face covering in public can help protect others if you are infected with the virus and don’t know it, since you can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.
If we all abide, we’ll all be better protected. Wearing a mask can also help you keep your hands away from your mouth and nose, which can help reduce your own risk.
Experts emphasize that medical-grade masks (N95 respirators or surgical masks), which are in short supply, be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical responders who are exposed to the virus on a daily basis.
Although cloth masks don’t provide the same level of protection as medical-grade masks, they still act as physical barriers against viral droplets.
You can purchase masks or cloth face coverings online or make them at home from household items or common materials. Read the CDC’s recommendations for how to make your own face covering.
Here are some dos and don’ts of wearing face masks/cloth face coverings:
See the CDC’s recommendations for the use of cloth face coverings.
Read CNN Health’s “How to make your own face mask (whether you know how to sew or not).”
At Edward-Elmhurst Health, our top priority is the safety and protection of patients, staff, physicians and the community. For updates on our planning and response efforts as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19, please check EEHealth.org/coronavirus.
The information in this article may change at any time due to the changing landscape of this pandemic. Read the latest on COVID-19.
Face masks: make one, don’t take one
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