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To prevent the spread of COVID-19:Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.Stay home if you feel unwell.If you have a fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. Call in advance.Follow the directions of your local health authority.Avoiding unneeded visits to medical facilities allows healthcare systems to operate more effectively, therefore protecting you and others.
Cloth face masks for sale – how much do they cost?Cloth face masks are the way to go for us ordinary citizens. There are some fabric items available for purchase on Takealot’s website, starting from R100 and rising upwards. Ballo, Mzansi Masks, and even Sexy Socks will deliver orders of facemasks, with some items costing less than R100.Of course, with the wearing of face masks being declared a mandatory requirement, it pretty much stinks that anyone has to buy them just to avoid a killer disease. The DA submitted proposals to the government on Thursday, asking for the provision of 120 million free face masks, prescribing three free masks each to 40 million citizens. A decision is yet to be reached on this matter.What are the benefits of wearing them?The government have published their reasoning online. Quite simply, wearing a face mask prevents citizens from coughing germs into the air, thereby limiting the amount of disease that’s communicated through droplets. Public commuters, taxi users and people working on open spaces are the most “in need” of this gear:“The main benefit of everyone wearing a face-mask is to reduce the number of germs being coughed up by those with the infection thereby reducing its spread through droplets. Since some persons with the disease may not have symptoms or may not know they are infected, everyone should wear a face mask in public.“Commuters travelling in taxis and other forms of public transport, as well as people spending time in spaces where physical distancing is difficult to practice, are particularly encouraged to wear cloth face masks.”
The new coronavirus — or COVID-19 — is spreading across the United States. Health officials are working to understand how to contain it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that everyone in the general public wear a cloth mask in addition to continuing to follow social distancing guidelines when they must go out into public.Path to improved healthAt first, the CDC said not to wear a mask. Why do we now need to wear cloth masks?As we receive more data about COVID-19, we are learning more about how it spreads. Data shows that many people already have the virus who do not know that they have it. They are asymptomatic, or not showing symptoms. It can take up to 14 days for a person who has been infected to develop symptoms. That means that when these people go to places like grocery stores and cough or sneeze, they are unintentionally spreading the virus.The new CDC recommendation is not intended to prevent you from getting COVID-19; it is to protect other people. In order to flatten the curve or slow the rate of spread of the virus in your community, assume that you already have the virus. Wearing a cloth mask will help to contain your own germs should you cough or sneeze in a public place. It will help to prevent you from giving COVID-19 to other people.Should I try to buy a surgical mask or an N95 respirator?We are currently experiencing shortages of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for the doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who are working to fight COVID-19. Do not use a surgical mask or N95 respirator if you are not a health care professional. If you already have some of these in your home, you can donate them to a local hospital or health care facility.Do I still need to practice social distancing?Yes. Wearing a mask should not take the place of social distancing. You should still stay at least 6 feet away from other people when you go out in public. A cloth mask may help to prevent you from giving the virus to others, but it does not protect you (the wearer). It is still important that you stay home as much as possible and continue to properly wash your hands.What makes an effective cloth mask?An effective cloth mask should:Cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of the face.Be secured to the ear with ties or loops.Include multiple layers of fabric.Allow for breathing without restriction.Be machine washable and dryable without losings its shape or fit.How do I make my own cloth mask?The CDC has posted instructions for how to make your own cloth mask from materials you may already have at home. You can use a t-shirt or a bandana to make your own cloth mask. .Things to consider
Using Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
If you need to leave your home, wear a cloth face covering.
The Health Department recommends that all Vermonters wear cloth face
coverings when outside of the home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
This advice is based on new data about how COVID-19 can spread before a
person has any symptoms. A mask helps protect others around you if you are
infected and don’t know it.
A face covering is one more precaution we can take to help slow the spread
of COVID-19 – and is not a substitute for physical distancing and other
prevention measures. You still need to stay at least 6 feet away from people,
even when wearing a face covering.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. These types of
masks are critical supplies that must be reserved for our health care workers and first responders.
Please make your own face coverings with household items (see more on the back).
Examples of when to wear a face covering Examples of when you don’t need to wear a
Trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor or
Going for a walk in the woods or in your
neighborhood. But bring one in case you
encounter other people and stop to chat
Essential workers at a grocery store, pharmacy,
or other business setting where they cannot
maintain at least 6 feet distance between
themselves and others
At home, if everyone in the home isn’t
At home if you are sick and have other people in
Going for a run on the bike path, if it’s not too
Home care workers caring for vulnerable
Who should never wear a mask:
• children under the age of 2
• anyone who has trouble breathing, or
• anyone who is unable to remove the
mask without assistance
Riding the bus, taxi, or ride share
Walking on a busy and crowded street
What is a face covering?
A face covering is any well-secured cloth (like a bandana or scarf) that covers your mouth and nose.
Why are you recommending this now?
There is a lot we are still learning about COVID-19. However, there is increased evidence that
people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus, and that droplets produced when
breathing, speaking, or clearing your throat may spread COVID-19 from person-to-person. We
continue to think staying home and practicing physical distancing and good hand hygiene are the
most important ways to stop the spread of COVID-19. By recommending that Vermonters use a face
covering, we are adding one more action to help reduce the spread.
How to wear a cloth face covering:
Cloth face coverings should —
• fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
• be secured with ties or ear loops.
• include multiple layers of fabric.
• allow for breathing without restriction.
• be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.
Clean cloth face coverings daily, by hand or machine, using detergent.
A washing machine should suffice to properly wash a cloth face covering. Make sure it’s completely
dry before using. You should have a few on hand so you can rotate for washing.
Remove and store it properly and safely.
• Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing it.
• Immediately wash your hands after removing it.
• Don’t put it where others can touch it or on counter tops or tables.
Make your own.
CDC has instructions on making your own coverings in several different
methods, including machine or hand-sewn, a no-sew method with a
t-shirt and scissors, and a no-sew method with a bandana.
A compulsory requirement We jest, of course. But the matter at hand is serious. From the start of next month, people leaving their homes have been asked to wear a face mask. As of next Friday, certain restrictions will be lifted, giving South Africans more reasons to leave the home. The president has asked us to all play by the rules, though:“As we begin the easing of lockdown restrictions from the beginning of May, we are calling on all South Africans to wear a face mask whenever you leave home. Our clothing and textile industry – including many small businesses – are gearing up to produce these masks on a mass scale.“The extraordinary measures that we have put in place to combat this global health crisis have been matched by the contributions of many South Africans. If we all adhere to instructions and follow public health guidelines, we will keep the disease under control and will not need to reinstate the most drastic restrictions.”
The president said no travel would be allowed between provinces except for the transportation of goods and for funerals.
“Public transport will continue to operate, with limitations on the number of passengers and stringent hygiene requirements, including that all passengers must wear a face mask,” he said.
Ramaphosa said everyone was called on to wear a face mask.
“As we begin the easing of lockdown restrictions from the beginning of May, we are calling on all South Africans to wear a face mask whenever you leave home,” Ramaphosa said. “Our clothing and textile industry – including many small businesses – are gearing up to produce these masks on a mass scale,” he added.
He said the elderly and those with underlying conditions should remain at home and take additional precautions to isolate themselves.
What are the benefits of wearing them?
The government have published their reasoning online. Quite simply, wearing a face mask prevents citizens from coughing germs into the air, thereby limiting the amount of disease that’s communicated through droplets. Public commuters, taxi users and people working on open spaces are the most “in need” of this gear:
“The main benefit of everyone wearing a face-mask is to reduce the number of germs being coughed up by those with the infection thereby reducing its spread through droplets. Since some persons with the disease may not have symptoms or may not know they are infected, everyone should wear a face mask in public.”
“Commuters travelling in taxis and other forms of public transport, as well as people spending time in spaces where physical distancing is difficult to practice, are particularly encouraged to wear cloth face masks.”Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has recommended that South Africans start wearing cloth masks to help limit the spread of Covid-19, rather than using medical masks reserved for healthcare workers.
“Wearing masks is important. We want to recommend widespread use of masks. We are recommending that people use cloth masks and just make sure there’s a three layer kind of thing,” he said during a briefing on Friday.
Mkhize said wearing a mask in public places can help slow the spread of the coronavirus, but that other hygiene measures were also crucial.
“Even when wearing a mask, hand-washing and social distancing remain the most important interventions to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
ovid-19 is a fast-moving epidemic with new knowledge emerging daily. President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister Zweli Mkhize and others have shown outstanding leadership in rapidly implementing public health measures to address it. But there’s one important step they still need to add, which we hope will be supported across the country: encourage the wearing of home-made masks or face coverings in public.
Based on the current evidence, widespread use of masks, in addition to the other public health measures we are taking, could reduce coronavirus transmission.
acumulating evidence shows that masks may reduce transmission of Covid–19 and other respiratory viruses when implemented as a public measure. Masks can also reduce transmission of TB, another common respiratory disease in South Africa.How to make a mask (via Wired)
Data from China show that social distancing and compulsory mask-wearing in public places were highly effective in reducing the incidence of Covid–19 cases after the initial outbreak in Hubei Province and in containing transmission in other provinces after five million people left Wuhan before the Chinese New Year. The cases that occurred in other provinces, were mainly in families where masks were not worn inside the home. Universal mask wearing also resulted in reductions in other viral diseases.
Similarly in Hong Kong, most healthy people wore masks in public places. Following an early wave of imported Covid–19 cases, there were few local transmissions, but clusters of cases occurred in some families where masks were not worn. There was also a drop in laboratory detection of influenza and all other respiratory viruses.
Why might masks be effective in preventing COVID transmission?
Firstly, transmission may occur from people who don’t have any symptoms or prior to development of their symptoms. High rates of infection and a high incidence of asymptomatic or mild disease serve as an important source of transmission.
Secondly, new information shows that the virus may be spread not only by droplets, but also as an aerosol into the air.
Thirdly the virus spreads further than the two-metre social distance that is usually regarded as safe. Recent studies suggest that the virus may be spread 6–7 metres from a person. Especially in places where social distancing is difficult, universal mask wearing may help to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention endorses this approach. Several countries have now implemented this in South East Asia as well as the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently changed its guidelines to recommend widespread use of cloth masks in public. The Western Cape Department of Health has also recently recommended that individuals wear a cloth mask in public places.
With winter approaching in South Africa, wearing a mask may also reduce the spread of influenza and other respiratory illnesses, which are hard to distinguish from Covid-19. Requiring everyone to wear masks also destigmatises their use, prevents people from touching their faces, and makes people constantly aware of the need for cough and hand hygiene.
Wearing a mask protects others: “Your mask protects me, my mask protects you”.
A serious problem is the supply of surgical and N95 masks, so these should be restricted to use in health facilities. Government should consider regulating this.
Local production of surgical masks could possibly be increased. Taiwan for example produces ten million surgical masks per day. And careful control of the supply chain and distribution as well as philanthropic donations may further strengthen the supply of these.
Home-made options for a simple mask include using a bandanna, buff, or scarf. Masks can be easily made from T-shirts, pillowcases, or linen. Guidelines for making homemade cloth masks are available and such masks could be quickly manufactured. Each person should have two homemade masks, so that after a day’s use, one can be washed and the other then used. Also wash your hands before putting on or taking off a mask so as not to contaminate it.
One concern about mass use of masks is the false sense of safety, which may lead people to engage in less safe behaviours such as gathering in large groups. To address this concern, messaging to the public must emphasise that a mask is one additional important public health strategy to reduce transmission of Covid-19. Using a homemade mask can reduce infections, together with careful hand hygiene, social distancing, diagnosis of infected people and self isolation with tracing of contacts.
Start making and wearing masks today. It could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.