Face Coverings Recommended As Coronavirus Cases Rise In Marin
Author: Kristina Houck
MARIN COUNTY, CA — Health officials on Thursday urged all residents to begin wearing face coverings as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to climb in Marin County and across the Bay Area.
All residents were strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when leaving home.
"Now that the virus is spreading in our community, it is more likely that people with mild or no symptoms may have coronavirus and unknowingly spread the disease," said Dr. Lisa Santora, the county's deputy health officer. "Wearing a face cover helps us protect each other. They are an additional tool — along with sheltering in place, physical distancing and hand-washing — to reduce the transmission of COVID-19."
Santora said people should wear face coverings because they catch droplets from coughing and sneezing. They also help stop people from touching their nose and face and unintentionally spreading the virus.
"You need to always wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after touching your face or face cover," she added.
Face coverings should cover the nose and mouth, and they can include homemade masks, bandanas and neck gaiters. Coverings should not be medical-grade masks, including N95 and surgical masks, as they are in short supply, Santora said.
"Medical supplies must be preserved for our health care workers and first responders," she said.
Santora stressed that the new recommendation is not a substitute for current coronavirus mitigation guidelines.
"Consider face coverings as an extra layer of protection that is most effective when used in combination with hand-washing, physical distancing and staying home as much as possible," she added. "The more we can continue to practice all of these things, the better chance we have of alleviating the burden of COVID-19 in Marin."
As of Thursday, 118 coronavirus cases have been confirmed and six residents have died from COVID-19 in the county.
Of the people who have tested positive, 16 have been hospitalized due to the virus.
Marin has tested 1,250 people for COVID-19. This number includes tests conducted at the county's drive-thru testing site as well as tests conducted by commercial labs or hospitals. A regional health order now requires commercial labs to report the results of tests for all residents.
Previously, labs only reported positive results, making it difficult for health officials to know how many people were being tested overall. Now, labs must report all positive, negative and inconclusive results.
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