ABOUT FACE CLOTH COVERINGS
Updated by the CDC on June 28, 2020
A cloth face covering may not protect the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others.
COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice (e.g., while shouting, chanting, or singing). These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms (are “asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (are “pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Why it is important to wear a cloth face covering
Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g., in stores and restaurants). Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when cloth face coverings are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
The cloth face coverings recommended here are not surgical masks or respirators. Currently, those are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders. Cloth face coverings are not personal protective equipment (PPE). They are not appropriate substitutes for PPE such as respirators (like N95 respirators) or medical facemasks (like surgical masks) in workplaces where respirators or facemasks are recommended or required to protect the wearer.
Updated from the CDC on April 24, 2020
How to Protect Yourself & Others
Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 illness. More information on Are you at higher risk for serious illness.head side cough light icon
Know how it spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Wash your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- It’s especially important to wash:
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before touching your face
- After using the restroom
- After leaving a public place
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling your cloth face covering
- After changing a diaper
- After caring for someone sick
- After touching animals or pets
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectantsexternal icon will work.
Monitor Your Health Daily
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
- Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
March 9th, 2020
The first confirmed cases of COIVD-19 (or Coronavirus) in Maryland were diagnosed last week. We want to assure you that Advanced Nursing + Home Support is taking all necessary precautions to protect your safety and that of our staff and care providers.
Your health is our paramount concern and we want to do all we can to keep you and your Care Provider healthy, free of the virus and to practice all of the good safety precautions recommended by the US Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and our local health departments.
To this end, please know that prior to coming to your home your Care Providers MUST:
- If any Flu Like Symptoms are present, they are to inform us immediately, stay at home and we will make every effort to send a temporary Care Provider. We are requesting that every care provider take their temperature each morning and report to us if it exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing: using the bathroom: and before eating or preparing food.
- Understanding this is allergy and cold season, we are instructing our Care Providers to cover their mouth with a tissue or elbow when they sneeze or cough and to immediately wash their hands.
- All of our Care Providers must strictly follow our policy and procedures on infection control. These measures include hygiene protocol, early symptom diagnosis and preventative care.
- In light of the international transmission of this virus, we are insisting that all of our Care Providers, who have traveled overseas, or may have come in contact with someone who has, report these occurrences to us. We WILL NOT place a Care Provider in your home who has informed us they have been exposed to the Coronavirus. A clean bill of health from a physician and after at least two weeks, without symptoms from the exposure event are required before we will reassign the care provider to any case.
For the safety of the Care Provider and to better protect you, we ask you to inform us if you have been potentially exposed to the virus. This would include:
- Inform us if you or any family member or friend, who has been in physical contact with you, have traveled overseas in the last 3 months, or potentially been exposed domestically.
- Inform us if you or anyone in your household has experienced flu-like symptoms in the past 14 days. In particular, symptoms such as – fever, cough, trouble breathing, and headache can all been signs of the virus.
- Keep your case coordinator appraised of your emergency back- up care plan.
Gracie Roy, RN,
Director of Nursing.