Saturday, April 4, 2020

Latest research on transmission of the corona virus indicates that the primary mode for spreading the infection is droplets from the nose and mouth. These droplets are produced when people breathe, sneeze, cough, or talk. Droplets can travel as much as 6 feet and can stay suspended for a while before falling onto a surface; hence the need for 6-ft social distancing. But maintaining a 6-ft separation isn’t always possible, and even 6-ft may not be 100% effective, so the Alameda County Public Health Department is now recommending,

“…residents cover their nose and mouth with cloth when leaving home for essential travel such as to doctor appointments, grocery shopping or pharmacy visits.

The face coverings do not have to be hospital grade but need to cover the nose and mouth. For example, bandanas, fabric masks and neck gaiters are acceptable. Fabric covers and bandanas can be washed and used again. We do not recommend that the public use medical masks (N-95 or surgical masks), which are in limited supply and must be preserved for our health care workers and pre-hospital transport providers.”

For more details, here’s the latest Alameda County Public Health Department press release.

A useful tutorial on how to easily make a mask from an old t-shirt without sewing can be found here. There are many patterns for masks online now as well; a quick search will turn up lots of options.

Because it’s possible to contract COVID-19 and be shedding virus in your breath, even without showing symptoms , wearing a mask in public is always wise precaution.

Protect yourself and others; wear a mask when you leave home.