New guidelines as of April 6, 2020 from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WI Department of Health Services (DHS) include the recommendation that there may be a benefit to reducing asymptomatic transmission and reinforcing physical distancing from the use of face covers.
It is now recommended that everyone wear a face mask at all times when in public while still while maintaining physical distancing.
Wearing a cloth face cover may be beneficial as it may help to protect others from germs you may be spreading without knowing it. It does not protect you from others who are not wearing a face masks and does NOT reduce the need for physical distancing and handwashing.
Face covers should be cloth and not surgical or N95 to reserve those critical supplies for medical personnel. A cloth face cover is material that covers the nose and mouth while being secured to the head with ties, straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. These coverings can be made by a variety of materials.
To wear a mask, keep these things in mind:
- Before putting on a mask, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Make sure your mask covers your mouth and nose with no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Do not touch your mask while wearing it; if you do, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp.
- Always wear your cloth reusable mask with the same side facing outwards.
Keep in mind that a mask does not provide full protection. Therefore, remember to continue to do the following:
- Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Continue staying at least 6 feet away from other people.
- Continue following the recommendations for social distancing: avoid crowds, stay at home as much as possible, and just leave for essential tasks (e.g. work, grocery shopping, going to the doctor, getting medications).
How should I clean my cloth mask?
- 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.
Additional Information about Cloth Face Covers can be found here: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/protect.html