To slow the spread of COVID-19, health officials have come out with a list of things people can do to slow the spread and reduce the virus transmission rate. The list includes regular and proper handwashing, avoiding touching your face, and if you aren’t feeling well, stay home, monitor your symptoms, get tested and of course, wear a mask. Advice from the CDC website states, “Masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others and likely reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.”
Still not convinced masks will protect you?
“In late May, two hair stylists in Missouri had close contact with 140 clients while sick with COVID-19. Everyone wore a mask and none of the clients tested positive.” (ref here?)While there are many states who have taken different directions on how to combat this virus, Massachusetts has many rules in place, For instance, Governor Charlie Baker, “issued an order that went into effect on May 6 requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible.” Governor Baker is giving communities the choice on how they will enforce mask wearing. Some communities are threatening fines, starting at $300, for not wearing a mask. Other communities are not opting to fine people. Instead, non-mask wearers are given a mask and are informed of the rules in place. In many Massachusetts cities and towns cases are going up, like my community, Salem MA. Salem has many tourists visiting that are not wearing masks, and this may be contributing to the rising number of cases in the community. While Salem loves to welcome people from all over to enjoy summer visits and Halloween season, we also want to get back to a “new normal” without seeing more cases in our community.
The state of Massachusetts has been doing so much to slow the virus down though we can still improve. For example, putting more COVID-19 information on electronic signs up on roadways, especially in communities that are seeing an increase in cases. Giving out more fines for people breaking protocols in the places with rising cases and having more testing sites available.
While there are still so many unknowns about COVID-19 we, as a state, can drop the number of cases in each of our communities by following the guidelines set in place by our health officials. We all want to get back to work, send our children back to school, see loved ones, travel, go to the gym, eat out and so much more. So let’s all do our part in slowing this virus down!
Bai, Nina. “Still Confused About Masks? Here's the Science Behind How Face Masks
Prevent Coronavirus.” Still Confused About Masks? Here's the Science Behind How Face Masks Prevent Coronavirus | UC San Francisco, 18 Aug. 2020, www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent.
“CDC Calls on Americans to Wear Masks to Prevent COVID-19 Spread.” Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 July 2020, www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0714-americans-to-wear-masks.html.
“COVID-19: Considerations for Wearing Masks.” Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html.
Johnson, Malcolm. “Masks Now Mandatory in Salem, Massachusetts.” NBC Boston,
NBC10 Boston, 10 Apr. 2020, www.nbcboston.com/news/coronavirus/masks-to-become-mandatory-in-salem-mass/2105483/.
Lima, Julianne. “Mask up, Massachusetts: The Rules and Penalties in Bay State
Communities.” WFXT, 6 May 2020, www.boston25news.com/news/health/mask-up-massachusetts-rules-penalties-bay-state-communities/CMCJJYEMAFCNXAYFKSZ7RAQVGQ/.