Anne Hernandez of Troy is responding to the shortage of face masks during the Novel Coronovirus threat by showing how she makes a mask. Detroit Free Press
Gov. Tom Wolf is asking Pennsylvania residents to wear a cloth mask whenever they leave their houses in a continuing effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The recommendation is especially true if they are going to a place where they can come into close contact with others – such as stores, pharmacies, restaurants serving takeout.
Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said in a news conference Friday that masks protect people you meet.
“Your mask protects me, and my mask protects you,” she said. “If the community wear masks, then the community will be protected.”
Coronavirus counter: Map of Pa. counties, confirmed cases over time, increased testing
Levine said the Department of Health website has directions on how to make cloth masks with things you have in your homes.
Masks have been a hot topic since the coronavirus pandemic began. Like toilet paper and cleaning supplies, masks are hard to find in stores.
Levine said people don’t have to wear traditional masks. Bandanas and scarves will work in a pinch.
“Remember, you are protecting someone else,” she said.
She said masks or a cloth covering should be worn whenever you leave the house and could come into contact with someone else.
Working in your yard? You probably won’t need one.
Taking the dog around the block in a busy neighborhood or hiking in a local park? Slip on a mask, just in case.
Going to the grocery store? Wear a mask.
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“We owe it to the people working in grocery stores, to do everything we can to protect these workers,” Wolf said.
Senator Pat Toomey said in a statement that he is glad to hear about Wolf’s request.
“A cloth mask or facial barrier is not a substitute for staying home and regularly washing our hands, but it is an important complement,” he said Friday. “Wearing a cloth mask when in public will limit transmission of the virus, which can be spread through saliva emitted in a cough, sneeze, or even when speaking or breathing.”
President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will not make wearing masks mandatory nationally. He said his administration is close to offering guidelines on using masks, but it will be up to each individual.
Shelly Stallsmith is a trends reporter for the York Daily Record. She can be reached at email@example.com or followed on Twitter at @ShelStallsmith.
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