NEW ORLEANS, La. (The Livingston Parish News) – Ochsner Health recently mailed 100,000 cloth masks to both pediatric and adult patients as part of its “Masks On” campaign.
The new campaign aims to educate the public about the importance of wearing a face mask in public amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release.
“We have seen firsthand how face masks and other social distancing measures play a vital role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Dr. Robert Hart, Chief Medical Officer for Ochsner Health, in the statement.
“Wearing a mask in public is a simple, but powerful way to protect both yourself and those around you.”
The “Masks On” campaign follows recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which advises all individuals ages 2 and older to wear a face mask in public spaces, especially when social distancing is not possible.
Gov. John Bel Edwards recently announced a statewide mask mandate for Louisiana residents that is currently set to expire on July 24 unless it is extended.
Health experts have agreed that COVID-19 can spread between people who are close to each other when speaking, coughing, or sneezing.
Recent studies by the CDC show many people with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic carriers, meaning they can unknowingly spread the disease. Those who eventually develop symptoms can also transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.
Cloth masks can be made at home with household items. The CDC has directions on how to make a mask that doesn’t require sewing, using a bandanna or T-shirt. It also has directions on making a simple mask that can be sewed at home.
According to guidance from Ochsner Health, cloth face coverings should:
— Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
— Be secured with ties or ear loops
— Include multiple layers of fabric
— Allow for breathing without restriction
— Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Health experts urge people to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing a face covering and to wash hands after.
It’s also important to wash and dry face masks regularly.
David Gray | The News