Masks & COVID-19

What you need to know about the CDC’s latest recommendation.
 In COVID-19

CDC reports Recent studies show that individuals infected with coronavirus who are asymptomatic can transmit the virus to others in close proximity while speaking, coughing, or sneezing.

Asymptomatic – no symptoms or signs of disease is present. – read more

In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. – read more

Locally: San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher says “utilizing face masks should not limit other public health mandates, like social distancing, staying indoors and hand washing.” – read more

CDC emphasizes that this new recommendation does not replace or override measures for social distancing (maintaining a 6 foot distance from others) or the “President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, 30 Days to Slow 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

· Using a washing machine should suffice in properly washing (and sterilizing) a face covering.

· Simple cloth face coverings help infected individuals COVID-19 to others.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Public Reaction to National PPE shortage:
Mask & PPE Donations Pour In

Donations of desperately needed masks and PPE have begun to pour-in from the public and individuals are organizing to help ensure the delivery of these items to medical staff on the front lines across the US.

“My mom is a nurse, and she told me they weren’t being provided masks on her floor, which was obviously kind of concerning. She’s older, she’s not as healthy as she used to be, and it got to the point that if she stays here she might get a severe case and die,” Liz Klinger, San Francisco, CA told SFGate of the moment that sparked her website idea.

Two women from San Francisco, California, Liz Klinger and Chloe Alpert, have created a website called Mask Match that matches people who have face-mask supplies with hospitals in dire need of them. – read more

PPE Link, a network and website founded by scientist and engineer volunteers helps connect labs with surplus PPE to hospitals in need. Donors can access a database of medical facilities that are accepting donations on the PPE Link website or get assistance locating a location nearby in case one is not listed. – more info

I am a nurse. I speak only for myself. However, nurses are scared, not for ourselves but for our patients. We are scared not having the right PPE or any PPE will cause us to carry this virus to our patients. We have no problem walking in to work every day no matter how sick people are. But for us to be scared this is real. I took an oath to do no harm and without the proper mask and shields I cannot say with certainty that I am not harming other patients. Donate masks and other PPE if you can. Please stay home if you can. Help us help others. #strongnurses- testimonial by KerryRN on getusppe.org

Many individuals have also taken on the project of creating DIY/homemade supplies. Get Us PPE was formed to help get these DIY projects reviewed and approved by medical professionals. Get us PPE also provides guidelines for production for 3D printers, CNC manufacturers, rapid prototyping companies, injection molding and laser printers, and sewing and textile manufacturers around the world. Together, they work to get front-line healthcare workers the necessary protection they need to stay safe. – read more

Check out our friend Ahna’s blog “The Real Mask Breakdown and How You Can Help” Ahna, a Nurse Practitioner, offers a front line perspective from the ER and useful information about the current mask crisis with tips on WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP!

World Health Organization advice for avoiding the
spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
From: NEWSWEEK

Hygiene advice

1. Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
2. Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
3. Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
4. Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
5. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Mask and glove usage

1. Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
2. Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
3. Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
4. Do not reuse single-use masks.
5. Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
6. The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.

Medical advice

1. Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
2. Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
3. If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
4. Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
5. Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance. Read the entire article here: www.newsweek.com.

References:

  1. https://www.newsweek.com/fda-says-hydroxychloroquine-chloroquine-can-used-treat-coronavirus-1494925?fbclid=IwAR0zpx8B4fSuGf09HkxHLxu6VOXiTP5Ied3VxOFPcLrCH11rQ_asGgMjRRA
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/qa/what-is-the-definition-of-asymptomatic
  3. https://www.newsweek.com/health
  4. https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/mask-wearing-policies-added-to-san-diego-countys-public-health-order/2298442/
  5. https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/mask-wearing-policies-added-to-san-diego-countys-public-health-order/2298442/
  6. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/coronavirus-guidelines-america/
  7. https://www.businessinsider.com/people-donating-face-masks-in-droves-to-protect-hospital-workers-2020-3
  8. https://www.mask-match.com/
  9. https://ppelink.wordpress.com/ppe-donations/
  10. https://www.thecut.com/2020/03/how-to-donate-face-masks-ppe-amid-coronavirus-pandemic.html
  11. https://opensourcemedicalsupplies.org/

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