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Wearing a mask is not meant to replace social distancing, says county health director

Virus Outbreak California
Posted at 10:56 AM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 10:56:53-04

CLEVELAND — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation to wear a non-medical or non-surgical mask in public is intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Cuyahoga County Board of Health Medical Director Dr. Heidi Gullett stressed during Monday’s briefing. She added that wearing a mask while out in public does not replace the importance and need to practice social distancing.

While Ohio won’t be requiring citizens to wear masks out in public, Gullett joins Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton in their recommendation for the public to wear a mask.

“Masks are not a substitute for social distancing. Let me repeat: Masks are not a substitute for social distancing. We need you to do it everywhere you are. At work if you are an essential employee, at home with your family members. If you are out in the community, please do social distancing,” Gullettt stressed.

State officials are asking the public to not wear hospital masks or N95 respirator masks, as those on the front lines need them 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 for personal use.

Gullett said if you have any N95 masks to donate them to the board of health. She said any cloth masks or covering will do. By wearing a mask, Gullett said you protect others from potential transmission.

"It's a two-way protection for us and others," she said.

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

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