New Recommendation on Cloth Face Coverings
With the spread of COVID-19 continuing to grow, new information on wearing cloth face covers/masks is being released. The State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommend wearing cloth face coverings in public places where it is difficult to keep 6 feet away from others. This includes grocery stores, pharmacies and places of work.
“Staying home, keeping a distance of six feet between you and others and washing your hands are still the most important things you can do,” says Sarah Turner, Public Health Specialist for Barron County. “If you do need to go out, this is one more thing you can do to help protect yourself and our community.”
Using a cloth material to cover your nose and mouth when out in public can help slow the spread of the virus. It can help people who may have the virus and do not know it from spreading it to others. Cloth face coverings made from household items or sewn at home can be used as an additional, voluntary precaution.
This recommendation does not replace social distancing, washing hands and staying home when sick. It is still important to stay home as much as possible and keep a distance of at least six feet between you and anyone not living in your home.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. These items need to be saved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you choose to wear a cloth face covering:
• Make sure you have clean hands when putting it on.
• Do not touch your mask while wearing it. If you do, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• 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.
• Wash or sanitize your hands after taking the mask off.
• Wash the masks often. After each use if possible. At least daily. Have a bag to keep them in until they can be washed with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle.
Keep in mind that a cloth facemask does not provide full protection. Please remember to continue to:
• Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Stay 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 leave only for essentials (work, grocery shopping, going to the doctor, getting medications).
For more information on cloth face coverings please visit
• WI DHS COVID-19: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/protect.htm
• CDC COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html.