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Masking up in public: What you need to know

wearing a mask
Posted at 2:49 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 16:26:16-04

The Louisiana Department of Health is reminding the public that masks should be worn when interacting with others not in your immediate household.

According to LDH, masks or face coverings should be worn in indoor public spaces and anytime in public when you are near others who are not in your immediate household.

"Wearing a mask is about protecting others. When you wear a mask, you protect others, and when others wear a mask they protect you. It’s just like holding a door open for someone: It's being kind and courteous. So continue to practice social distancing and MASK UP."

N95 masks are for healthcare workers only. While in public, you should use a mask, scarf or other face covering.

In an April press conference, Gov Edwards said that the public should wear masks when out or interacting in others. "Everybody else really needs to be wearing masks when in public and when in contact with other people," the governor said. "I say this because everybody needs to start preparing. Make sure you and everyone in your family has one. You can buy them, you can make them. Unless you’re a healthcare worker, you don’t need to purchase an N95. We’re talking about facial coverings, which are relatively easy to make."

While urges the public to wear masks, his extended stay at home order has mandated that workers who interacting with the public must wear masks.

Read more on that here.

On Monday May 4, 2020, Edwards reiterated the use of masks saying, Masks are critical to slow the spread of the virus. When you think about how many people have died here in Louisiana and around the country, and how many more are expected to die, it is a very minor inconvenience in light of what we’re up against."

Below is info on when to wear masks and how to wear one.

When to wear a mask/face covering

  • While in public, you should use a mask, scarf or other face covering. This includes indoor spaces and outdoor spaces when you are near others who are not in your immediate household.
  • Those with breathing challenges or those under the age of two should not wear a mask.

Why wear a mask/face covering

  • To protect others: When you wear a mask you protect others by preventing the spread of your own germs.
  • Unknown COVID-19 status: You may have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus without showing symptoms.
  • Protect the community: More people wearing masks results in better protection for everyone.

How to wear a mask/face covering

  • Masks/face coverings should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Masks/face coverings should be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Masks/face coverings should include multiple layers of fabric
  • Masks/face coverings should allow for breathing without restriction
  • Masks/face coverings made of cloth should be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape
  • Wash your hands before putting on or taking off a mask/face covering
  • Cover both your nose and mouth with your mask/face covering
  • Try to avoid a lot of touching/adjusting your mask/face covering
  • Completely remove your mask/face covering while eating
  • Cloth masks or face coverings should be washed and dried after each use. When your cloth mask is not in use, fold it with the side that goes toward your mouth folded to the inside. Store the mask/face covering in a resealable bag or other clean storage container.
  • Disposable masks are acceptable but should be thrown away after one use.

How to make a mask or face covering

Gloves are not recommended

  • Gloves are not recommended (If you had to wear gloves before because of your job then you should continue doing so.)
  • Gloves can cause more harm than good and can give you a false sense of security
  • Gloves are an additional layer the virus can stick to, and you run the risk of cross contamination

Click here for more details on masks.

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