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Tri-County Health Department News

Posted on: May 6, 2020

Tri-County Health Department Board of Health moves to Strongly Advises Wearing Face Coverings

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Tri-County Health Department Board of Health moves to Strongly Advises Wearing Face Coverings

Evidence shows that wearing a face covering or non-medical grade mask is another weapon in combatting the spread of COVID-19

The Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) Board of Health discussed at today’s meeting the role of the wearing of face coverings by all members of the public in settings where contact with others may occur and strongly endorsed their use.  The Board decided that a voluntary approach, accompanied by an aggressive public education campaign, rather than a public health order would be most appropriate at this point, but that such an approach should be considered later if monitoring data indicated that the campaign was not sufficiently effective.

The laboratory-based evidence is sufficiently strong that entities such as the CDC and the Surgeon General have recently strongly endorsed the use of non-medical or cloth face masks. Face coverings are believed to be particularly important in preventing transmission to others, especially among the large percentage of COVID-19 infected persons who are asymptomatic and don’t realize that they have a risk of transmitting infection to others.

“We are eager to support the cautious re-opening of our communities and businesses and strongly believe that, along with continued social distancing, widespread use of face coverings will be an important component in suppressing transmission of COVID-19 and preventing subsequent waves of infection.  We are particularly anxious to do all that we can to help protect employees of our businesses as they re-enter the work setting,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department.

“We have heard from people on both sides of this issue, said Rosanna Reyes, TCHD Board of Health President, “and we think that once people understand the important role that face coverings can play in suppressing transmission, they will do the right thing to protect their neighbors and broader community by wearing a mask when out in public.  It is one more tool we can use to reduce the spread of the virus and live our lives as safely as possible for as long as the COVID-19 pandemic lasts.”

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