NH’s Epidemiologist and CDC: Wear cloth face covering in public

Easy instructions for DiY no-sew cloth facemasks below.

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Old doll is wearing a surgical mask that can be used in hospitals made by a tailor, but what you need in public is simple to make at home.

CONCORD, NH – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that everyone wear some kind of cloth face covering when in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms,” according to the CDC website.

Gov. Chris Sununu’s spokesman didn’t respond to a question about whether Sununu will make the same recommendation or follow it himself.

State epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan told WMUR on Saturday that he suggests using a homemade mask or cloth-based covering.

“When people are in public settings and when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as at grocery stores or picking up essential items,” Dr. Chan told WMUR.

The cloth coverings do not have to be the same grade as surgical masks for hospital use that have certain specifications by hospital.

Monica West, who writes Monica Reads book reviews for InDepthNH.org, says it’s easy to make one without sewing from instructions she found on the Internet site No-Sew.

“Keep folding up the bandanna and get two strong elastics and put them around the cloth on each side – tuck one end into the other and you use the elastics to fold over your ears.  Cover nose and mouth,” West said.

From the CDC website:

CDC continues to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus across the United States.  We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.  This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.  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.

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.  CDC is additionally advising 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 cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 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.

This recommendation complements and does not replace the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, 30 Days to Slow the Spreadexternal icon, which remains the cornerstone of our national effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  CDC will make additional recommendations as the evidence regarding appropriate public health measures continues to develop.