May 14, 2020
SKAGIT COUNTY COVID-19 UPDATE
Public Health reported 6 new laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 today. Daily updates and total case counts are available at http://www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus. Case counts are updated at 4 p.m.
Why wear a mask?
Yesterday, Skagit County Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand issued a reminder that all Skagit County residents should wear a fabric mask when in public or at work. This same recommendation was also made by the Centers for Disease Control. Culturally, Americans don’t typically use masks as a widespread tool for communicable disease prevention, but they help keep viruses like COVID-19 from spreading. Masks are a very simple way to reduce the likelihood of you getting or transmitting COVID-19.
Masks work by creating a physical barrier between yourself and the rest of the world. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets, which are created when you cough, sneeze or breathe. By putting a barrier over your nose and mouth you can reduce the number of droplets that are released into the air around you. Masks are particularly important in fighting COVID-19 because people can be contagious before symptoms have developed. You could feel just fine and still have the potential to infect others. Wearing a mask can reduce the likelihood that you accidentally pass COVID-19 to someone else. For tips on how to make your own homemade mask, visit here.
Wearing a mask should not be considered a substitute for practicing social distancing or any other Health Department recommended practices. Masks work best when they are worn while good social distancing practices and hand hygiene are observed.
The bottom line: when you wear a mask and maintain social distance, you can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect those around you. The more people who consistently wear masks and maintain social distancing while at work or in public, the stronger this effect will be.
One thing to note: do not use chemical cleaners, like bleach, to clean or disinfect your fabric masks. This can cause you to accidentally inhale toxic chemicals. Instead, the CDC recommends washing your mask regularly in the same way you wash your clothes. Try not to set your mask down on any foreign surfaces, and do not touch your mask (the same what you wouldn’t touch your bare face) while wearing it.
We appreciate everyone who has taken the time to sew their own mask and masks for others. You’re a vital part of the fight against COVID-19, and we thank you!