Dig out the bandanas

CDC recommends public use cloth face coverings in public places

Use cloth face coverings, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission, according to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation furthered by a White House press conference on Friday.

“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,” according to the CDC website.

Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms. Even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. These individuals can unwittingly spread the virus.

“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,” according to the CDC.

In anticipation of that recommendation, Gallatin City-County Health Department officer Matt Kelley stipulated that residents should use bandanas or cloth and save medical-grade masks for first responders and those on the front lines.

Kelley also discussed Gov. Steve Bullock’s press conference in which he announced he will likely extend the shelter in place order.

Kelley stated that Montana residents can still perform necessary tasks like going to the grocery store and pharmacy, can go to work if their work is deemed essential or can travel in the effort to care for others.

“The governor’s order also allows for us to go outside,” he said. “I think it is important for Montanans as we go through this to take advantage of open spaces.”

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