The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that face masks be worn when out in public places where social distance can be difficult to maintain – such as grocery stores and pharmacies. With Illinois’ shelter-in-place order being extended till the end of May, this recommendation to wear face masks is now required in public places throughout the state.
“Starting on May 1, any individual over the age of two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering or mask will be required to wear one when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face coverings work and we need all Illinoisans to do their part here.” – Governor Pritzker
Simple cloth face coverings made from household items are enough to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Surgical masks and N-95 respirators should be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
To ensure that face masks are worn correctly, the CDC provides guidelines on proper ways to handle and wear them:
- Handles masks only by ear loops or ties
- Mask should cover your mouth, nose, and chin
- Face mask should fit snugly but comfortably against side of face
- Pinch metal edge of mask against bridge of nose
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth when removing face masks
- Wash hands immediately after removing
Surgical masks should be replaced once they become damp or wet. If surgical masks need to be reused, they can be stored in paper bags. If a cloth mask is being used, make sure it has multiple layers of fabric. Cloth face masks should be routinely washed, especially if used frequently.
For more information on COVID-19, visit Homewatch CareGivers COVID-19 Information page.