Fears regarding the spread of COVID-19 has created the need for personal protective equipment (PPE). Due to the contagious nature of the virus, the CDC has advised that we all wear masks to do our part to prevent the continued spread. Here is the official statement from the CDC:
“We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”
The wearing of facemasks—a situation that is largely unfamiliar in the United States—has long been a tradition in other cultures. In fact, Asian countries have worn protective face masks for decades to prevent inhalation of harmful pollutants, but also to protect the transmission of sickness to others. The practice is such a staple that facemasks are often even worn for fashion.
Wearing face masks help to protect others
The recommendation from the CDC is occasionally debated, some asking why they need masks when they are not symptomatic. Put simply, the guidelines have been issued in an attempt to help protect others and prevent the spread to highly vulnerable populations. As mentioned above, asymptomatic individuals can spread the virus even if they are not experiencing any sickness. According to a study by WHO, wearing a mask can reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission up to 80%.
By wearing a face mask, you are respecting the health of others and doing your part to help prevent the spread.
Guidelines for wearing a face mask
There are a few things you can do to help ensure your mask is provide sufficient protection.
- Wash your hands before applying your face mask. COVID-19 is can be spread by touching infected surfaces. Washing your hands prior to putting on your face mask help prevent the spread from hands to the face.
- Your face mask should cover your mouth and nose and fit securely beneath your chin.
- Your face mask should fit snugly to your face, but not prohibit breathing. Try to fit to your face to eliminate any gaps in the face covering.
- Wash your hands before removing your face covering and put any cloth face masks through a washing cycle.
Office guidelines for face masks
At Francisco Eraso Orthodontics, we value our patients and families and respect everyone’s right to personal health and safety. To help ensure we are doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have provided our staff with CDC-approved face masks and we are taking additional measures to help our patients practice social distancing in our office.