Wearing a face mask is one of the most important steps we can all take to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus and protect our communities.
The virus predominately spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets that are released when someone coughs, sneezes or talks. Infection spreads when these droplets land in the mouths or noses of people nearby or are inhaled into the lungs.
The virus can quickly be spread by people who are asymptomatic and don’t know they have the virus. They feel fine, but may unknowingly be spreading the virus in public. When these people wear masks, they reduce the risk of transmission.
When to Wear a Mask
The Illinois Department of Public Health recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, like in pharmacies or grocery stores. This simple step can slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and don’t know it from spreading it to others.
Wear a mask any time you must leave home and it is not possible to maintain at least six feet of physical distance between yourself and others. This includes shopping at essential businesses, picking up food from curbside or drive-thru restaurants, visiting health care providers, using public transportation, interacting with customers or coworkers and any time you are in a crowd of people.
By following this guidance, you are helping to reduce your fellow community member’s exposure to the virus, and they are helping reduce yours. This protects all of us!