Jackson County Public Health strongly recommends that everyone 5 years and older (2 and older if tolerated) wear masks in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is highly recommended that everyone 12 years of age and older get a free COVID-19 vaccination.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) have advised universal mask use for all indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. The CDC has also advised universal masking for teachers, staff members, and students in schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Masks are required in all healthcare settings and must be worn by healthcare personnel, patients and visitors. Mask, Face Covering, and Face Shield Requirements for Healthcare Offices.
The science on COVID-19 is growing and it is clear that masks slow the spread of COVID-19. There is emerging evidence that masks/face coverings protect the wearer from other people by filtering out some of the virus particles that can cuase infection. If everyone wears a cloth face covering when out in public, such as going to the grocery store, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 can be reduced for the community.
How face coverings work
The science on COVID-19 is growing and is clear that masks, face shields and face coverings slow the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings, made from cloth or paper, prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading respiratory droplets when talking, sneezing, or coughing. There is emerging evidence that masks protect the wearer from other people by filtering out some virus particles that can cause infection. Since people can spread the virus before symptoms start, or even if people never have symptoms, wearing a face covering can protect others around you. If everyone wears a cloth face covering when out in public, such as going to the grocery store, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 can be reduced for the community.
How face coverings are different from other types of masks
Face covering, made from cloth or paper, are NOT the same as medical facemaks, surgical masks, or respirators (such as N95 respirators) worn by healthcare personnel, first responders, and workers in other industries. These masks and respirators are personal protective equipment (PPE). Medical PPE should be used by healthcare personnel and first responders for their protection and not by the general public. It is important to reserve PPE for medical providers and first responders to keep them safe as they care for people. Masks with valves are not recommended; these types of masks filter air being inhaled, but do not filter air that is exhaled and can projects germs, exposing others to COVID-19.
General consideration for the use of cloth or paper face coverings
When using a cloth or paper face covering, make sure:
The mouth and nose are fully covered
The covering fits snugly against the sides of the face so there are no gaps
You do not have any difficulty breathing while wearing the cloth face covering
The cloth or paper face covering can be tied or otherwise secured to prevent the mask from moving around
Other tips while using a cloth or paper face covering:
Avoid touching your face as much as possible
Keep the face covering clean, frequently wash the face covering
Clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately, before putting on, after touching or adjusting, and after removing the cloth face coverings
Do not share it with anyone else, unless you have washed and dried it first
Custom DIY face masks have already become popular with youths. People have been making and buying a wide variety of fun and unique designs, like in the photo below.
- Build a mask that tightly encloses the area around the nose and mouth, from the bridge of the nose down to the chin, and extending onto the cheek beyond the corners of the mouth, so no gaps occur when talking or moving.
- Use mask material that is tightly woven but breathable. Possibly double-layer the fabric.
- Masks must be made from washable material such as fabric.
- Choose a fabric that can handle high temperatures and bleach without shrinking or otherwise deforming.
- The mask should be tolerant of expected amounts of moisture from breathing.
Here is one example of a simple no-sew homemade mask:
More design examples:
There is no standard design for a homemade facemask therefore, consider innovation using the design principle above. Below are example designs for consideration: