Riverside County recommends covering face in public to prevent coronavirus -Enterprise

Riverside County public health officials are asking residents to cover their face or wear masks while in public to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The masks don’t have to be “hospital grade” and can be bandannas, fabric masks, or neck gaiters, a  Tuesday, March 31, news release states. But they should cover the nose and mouth to protect against air droplets from individuals infected with COVID-19.

“We’re seeing our numbers increasing even sooner than we predicted and that means our strategy must change too,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, county public health officer, said in the release. “Covering your face doesn’t change the orders everyone must abide by to stay home as much as possible and maintain social distancing, but it’s an extra layer of protection that I think we need to add.”

Staying at home, frequent hand washing and practicing social distancing continue to be the best ways of fighting coronavirus, officials said.

The recommendation stems from the belief that transmission occurs mostly through droplets from an infected individual, which fabrics can easily filter, the release states. Covering the nose and mouth “helps to reduce the risk a well person can breathe those droplets in, but also protects others around someone with mild symptoms who may not yet realize they have the illness,” the release states.

Face covering should be used whenever a person is outside their home, including in offices of essential businesses.

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