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City Adopts CDC’s Stance on Face Coverings

City says local residents can wear protective facial covering as 'additional public health measure'

Published on Sunday, April 5, 2020 | 4:53 pm
 

A city spokesperson told Pasadena Now that the city has adopted the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) recommendations on masks during the Coronavirus outbreak.

“The general public may wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting,” said Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian. “This is an additional public health measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand washing, staying at home, and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others.  Face coverings may increase risk if users reduce their use of strong defenses such as physical distancing and frequent hand washing.”

However, Derderian said the public should not wear masks used primarily by health care officials.

As of Friday 58 people have contracted the virus, and two local residents have died.

“Medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current guidance by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention,” Derderian.

The city of Los Angeles and LA County have also adopted the guidelines. On Saturday, Riverside County ordered all residents to wear masks when they go out. San Diego County urged essential workers to do the same.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called on all 4 million of Los Angeles residents to wear face covering when out in public.

“Homemade cloth masks, or even a tucked-in bandanna, will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the nation’s second-largest city and remind people to practice safe social distancing,” Garcetti said Wednesday as he donned a black cloth mask to make his point.

Cloth face coverings should be washed frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Have a bag or bin to keep cloth face coverings in until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face. Discard cloth face coverings that:

No longer cover the nose and mouth, have stretched out or damaged ties or straps, cannot stay on the face, have holes or tears in the fabric

The guidance comes after a turnabout on masks by several major health organizations, including the World Health Organization and the Surgeon General.

On March 3, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said masks did not help in preventing the spread of the virus.

“Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!” he tweeted.

Some experts say the new guidance is driven by the high rates of people with coronavirus who are asymptomatic and don’t realize they have COVID-19 and are likely to go out and not maintain social distancing standards.

The call for more protective facial gear comes as health officials now admit the virus can be spread through breathing and talking.

“They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

“My roommate is from China, and my writing partner was living in China at the time of the outbreak,” said Angelina Arrington. “Both began wearing masks in January, around the same time that the government said it wasn’t necessary. I also thought that if doctors were wearing them for protection, then there must be some benefit to wearing one.”

As of Sunday morning, there have been 1.2 million infections worldwide and 66,000 deaths. In the US, 8.500 people have died and more than 300,000 people have been infected.

Last week officials with the city of Los Angeles and LA County

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