For our own well-being, it's time to break the stigma of wearing face masks in public

Posted at 3:05 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 16:41:46-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Friday, President Trump announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will begin recommending the public use non-medical or non-surgical grade masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While the state of Ohio won’t be requiring citizens to wear masks out in public, during the daily press conference with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton, the three echoed the CDC’s recommendations.

DeWine reminded Ohioans to not fear the stigma of wearing a mask and reiterating how helpful it can be for our health.

"In many cultures around the world, wearing a mask is just part of the culture - it is a socially accepted act of kindness," DeWine said. "Wearing a mask should not scare people. It is a good thing. It is a considerate thing. It is a courageous thing."

The governor said that when someone is wearing a mask in public it should be looked at as a positive thing—that the individual wearing the mask is being thoughtful in trying to keep their germs away from the public.

DeWine said he intends to wear a mask when in public and hopes the rest of the state does as well.

Husted agreed with DeWine, sharing that his wife wears a mask when she makes her grocery store trips.

“We appreciate when we see people in these stores wearing a mask because they’re trying to do us all a favor,” Husted said. “This is not something we should be scared about it. It’s just something that, in society, it actually shows respect for one another—that we’re trying to do our best to slow the spread.”

State officials are asking that the public not wear hospital masks or N95 respirator masks, as those on the frontlines need those the most and the supply of personal protective equipment is already staggeringly low. Instead, the public is asked to wear homemade, fabric masks or face coverings.

Acton said that homemade masks are important to protect other people from germs.

Homemade fabric masks, Acton said, are about 80 percent effective, which helps slow the spread of the coronavirus.

To learn how to make your own mask, click here.

If you have a photo wearing a homemade mask, you can help break the stigma by posting them on your social media accounts with the hashtag #InThisTogetherOhio.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

We're Open! Northeast Ohio is place created by News 5 to open us up to new ways of thinking, new ways of gathering and new ways of supporting each other.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Ohio, a timeline of Governor Mike DeWine's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Northeast Ohio, and link to more information from the Ohio Department of Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the CDC and the WHO.

See data visualizations showing the impact of coronavirus in Ohio, including county-by-county maps, charts showing the spread of the disease, and more.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Here is everything you need to know about testing for coronavirus in Ohio.

Here's a list of things in Northeast Ohio closed due to coronavirus concerns

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.