Counties across the Eastern Shore are recommending the use of facial coverings when residents need to go out in public, where social distance is difficult to maintain.
On Friday, April 10th, Kent County’s Health Officer, William Webb, issued a statement asking all residents to please wear masks in public settings to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The recommendation is based on recent CDC guidance to wear cloth face coverings to protect the wearer and others they come into close contact with in public — research has shown that carriers that are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic can transmit the virus without even knowing they’re infected.
Kent County’s recommendation follows a statement from Talbot County’s Health Officer, Dr. Fredia Wadley, who appeared in a video for Midshore Community Television, which is featured on their YouTube page and Talbot County’s COVID-19 Information site.
General guidance for residents is to use homemade cloth masks and facial coverings. Surgical Masks and N-95 respirators should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders as critical supplies, the CDC advises.
Other counties on the Eastern Shore have made similar recommendations on facial coverings. Cecil County Executive Alan McCarthy asked residents to consider using masks in public in a recent press release, and Queen Anne’s County’s QACTV released a video on ways to make your own cloth mask with household items.
Facial coverings are not a substitute for social distancing. Residents should still abide by Governor Hogan’s stay-at-home order, and continue to maintain a safe distance from others when out at the grocery store or other essential businesses. Routine hand washing is also important to slow the spread.
All of these measures are important steps in the fight to curb coronavirus.