Masks worn in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should cover the bridge of the nose, mouth and chin to be most effective, local health-care providers say.
The advice comes in the wake of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s amended statewide stay-at-home order, which began May 1 and runs through May 30. The order says people must wear a face-covering or mask when in a public place or when working and unable to maintain a 6-foot social distance.
The amended order applies to anyone 2 and older who is “able to medically tolerate a face covering.”
Memorial Health System, HSHS Illinois, Springfield Clinic and SIU Medicine are partnering to share a poster with central Illinois businesses that illustrates how masks and other face-coverings should be worn.
Homemade masks and face-coverings can be used to comply with the governor’s order.
“Because COVID-19 can be spread by people who aren’t exhibiting symptoms, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of face-coverings, primarily so wearers don’t unknowingly infect others,” said Gina Carnduff, Memorial Health System director of infection prevention.
Coverings should be fitted to the wearer’s face, with no gaps. When coverings are worn, the wearer should touch only the loops and ties — not the front, and hands should be washed before and after putting on the coverings, according to the poster.
Health officials emphasized the importance of the guidelines in protecting community health.
“It is important that we continue to practice social distancing and adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the CDC,” said Dr. Gurpreet Mander, chief physician executive for HSHS Illinois. “These practices are our best defense against the spread of COVID-19."
The CDC website offers tips on how to make a homemade face-coverings and masks from household materials.