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Rappahannock Area Health District recommends use of home-made masks

From Rappahannock Area Health District Interim Director Dr. Donald Stern:

Now that it has been confirmed that many, if not most, of persons with COVID-19 are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms not interpreted as being ill, but still contagious, and that you can be contagious for at least 2 days before coming down with symptoms, there is increasing justification for masks for the general public. It is important to emphasize that masks do not serve a role to protect you from having germs enter your respiratory tract – that’s the role of N95 which is a must for healthcare providers and front-line responders. However, as so nicely stated in the attached video: “I protect you and you protect me.” The masks help prevent you from transmitting the virus to others. We do not have a vaccine or medications, but what we do have is each other.

I am now encouraging the use of home-made masks by the general population, not health care providers or front-line responders. Please share with friends, families, churches, neighbors. Again, the masks reduce the capability of the wearer to transmit germs if the wearer is contagious, with or without symptoms. The masks will not prevent germs from entering your respiratory tract but by lessening transmission it also lessens the germs present in the environment and thus lessens your exposure. OTHER PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES STILL NEED TO BE USED: staying home where possible, 6′ physical distancing, washing hands or using hand sanitizer often, good environmental cleaning, avoid putting hands to face.


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