CDC stresses mask usage, sets guidelines

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Staff Report The Center for Disease Control offers guidelines to stop or limit community spread of COVID-19 during dramatic increase in positive cases. In Bowman, many businesses have posted signs requiring customers to wear masks when inside. For some, the issue of masks may be political.

For others, it is a way to protect themselves and others from the pandemic that has gotten to the point where the state of North Dakota has statistically become the world leader in the number of positive cases per capita. The recent surge in cases prompted Gov. Doug Burgum to establish a statewide mask mandate by executive order.

Mask poll According to a recent Gallup poll, a relatively small proportion of Americans say it is probably or is false that infected people without symptoms can spread the coronavirus. Because of that, there is a lower likelihood to wear masks in public.

Ten percent of poll respondents said they have not worn a mask when outside their home in the past seven days – and increases to 34 percent among those who don’t believe there is such a thing as asymptomatic transmission of the virus. Asymptomatic transmission is where people who do not show symptoms can spread the virus. Mask rules According to the Center for Disease Control, there are several rules for masks to help avoid COVID-19.

First, the CDC advises people to wear masks with two or more layers in them to best stop the spread of COVID-19. Then people should wear the masks correctly with it covering the nose and mouth while being secured underneath the chin. People who should wear the masks, would be those two years or older. They should not be worn by individuals two or younger, or by people with respiratory difficulties that make it hard to breathe. The public should not wear the masks intended for health care workers, such as one with N95 respirators. In addition, the CDC does not recommend using face shields alone. The materials used in gaiters and masks are currently being evaluated.

When it comes to selecting a mask, the CDC also has several suggestions including having two or more layers of washable and breathable fabric. The masks should fit snugly on the face while completely covering the nose and mouth with no gaps.

There are several recommendations to avoid masks made of fabric, which makes it hard to breathe, has exhalation valves or are designed for healthcare workers. When it comes to gaiters, they should be worn folded to create two layers, according to the CDC.

Masks need to be regularly cleaned after use, while cleaning hands after they have been taken off the face. Masks can be included with regular laundry, if detergent and warm temperature settings are used, according to the CDC. It is recommended that the masks be dried at the highest setting. Per the CDC, the reason for wearing masks is to cut down on the way COVID-19 spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets.

The droplets travel into the air when people cough, sneeze, talk, shout, or sing. The droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of people near you or they may breathe these droplets in. In addition, the CDC says that masks are a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from reaching others. Studies show that masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.

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