Health officials urge residents to wear masks if out

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Due to a high rate of asymptomatic transmission, which could be as high as 20 percent, the Montgomery County Health Department highly recommends the CDC guidance suggesting that anyone who can’t stay home during this COVID-19 pandemic wear a mask while in public.

Asymptomatic transmission means that there are those who don’t show symptoms, but still transmit the virus to others.

It is recommended to wear cloth face coverings in public settings where 6-foot social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

The masks recommended are cloth face coverings and not surgical masks or N95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

The cloth mask 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

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