WATERBURY — Covid-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or are possibly inhaled into the lungs.
“Cloth face masks are important to prevent people who may not yet have symptoms of Covid-19 from passing the virus to other people,” said Dr. Michael Simms, chief of Infectious Disease, St. Mary’s Hospital.
Warmer weather poses extra challenges to wearing masks.
“Using common sense is the best approach to staying protected against Covid-19 while avoiding overheating,” said Dr. Simms.
Dr. Simms offered the following tips for wearing a mask during warm weather.
Wear a mask when indoors or in crowded outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible.
If you must wear a mask outdoors, wear one that is light in color as dark colors may become hotter.
Breathe through your nose when wearing a mask, which will result in less heat and humidity within the mask.
If you feel overheated, remove the mask and rest in a well-ventilated, cool area.
Dr. Simms said the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations. The exceptions are people under two years old, those who have trouble breathing or who are unable to remove the mask without assistance.
To wear a face covering correctly, put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
Make sure you can breathe easily.
Keep the covering on your face the entire time you’re in public. Don’t put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead.
Don’t touch the face covering, and if you do, wash your hands.
To take off a cloth face covering when you’re home, untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops. Handle only by the ear loops or ties.
Fold the outside corners together and place the covering in the washing machine. Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use.
Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.
Dr. Simms advises that residents continue to follow everyday health habits, staying at least six feet away from others and avoiding contact with people who are sick.
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time, and use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Those seeking additional information may visit https://www.trinityhealthofne.org/find-a-service-or-specialty/covid-19/.