Device Pickup at Liberty Academy

Chris Hernandez waits for his turn to move at Liberty Academy. Hernandez said he signed up for electronic devices because it’s been hard for his three children to share one phone for online learning. He said he wore a mask after seeing everyone at the site wearing masks. “It doesn’t feel normal,” Hernandez said. “But it’s a good thing because right now I’m talking and the wind blows, so you never know.”

Q: Should I wear a face mask?

A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that everyone should wear non-medical face coverings when in public.

For weeks, experts believed that face coverings were not essential for healthy people who were not working in a health care setting. But, because of new information about how COVID-19 spreads, federal officials now say cloth masks for non-health care workers could help slow the spread of COVID-19. New evidence has shown that COVID-19 can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms or don’t yet have symptoms of the new disease.

“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,” according to the CDC guidance on cloth masks.

The CDC recommends that N95 respirators and surgical masks still be reserved for health care workers treating COVID-19 patients. Because it is very difficult to find masks in stores, and virtually every medical mask is needed by health care workers, most people will have to make their own.

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at cmccarthy@vicad.com or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to VictoriaAdvocate.com/report.

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers public health and health care for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. Questions, tips, or ideas? Please get in touch: cmccarthy@vicad.com or call 361-580-6597.

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