City of Cambridge Urges Residents to Wear Face Coverings When Leaving Their Home

In keeping with the recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Cambridge Public Health Department, the City of Cambridge today is strongly recommending that residents wear face coverings anytime they are outside of their home, especially in public settings in which physical distancing measures (ensuring 6 feet of space or more from others) are difficult to maintain. Those areas include grocery stores and pharmacies.

“Using simple cloth face coverings is another way we can help slow the spread of the virus, especially from those who may have the virus and do not know it.” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager DePasquale in a joint statement. “Face coverings should be worn as a tool to help reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus. While face coverings may provide some help in slowing virus transmission between people interacting in proximity with one another, they do not provide guaranteed protection. Wearing a face mask is not a substitute for other precautionary measures. The most effective ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are to practice physical distancing, avoid touching your face, and washing your hands frequently.”

When wearing a face covering, residents should be aware that face coverings should:

  • Fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face;
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops;
  • Include multiple layers of fabric;
  • Allow for breathing without restriction (cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, persons who have trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance);
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape; and
  • Be frequently washed using a washing machine with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. They can also be hand washed with soap and warm water and left to dry.

After wear, residents should remove facemasks/face coverings carefully, avoiding touching their nose, eyes or mouth until the face covering has been properly disposed of or placed carefully away to be washed, and the wearer should immediately wash their hands after removal.

At this time, the CDC is recommending cloth face coverings to the public as opposed to medical grade face masks. The recommendation to wear face masks does not include the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks and surgical masks. These should be reserved for healthcare workers and those serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.

If residents do not have access to masks or are interested in learning how to make their own, the City of Cambridge encourages individuals to visit
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html, which provides easy-to-follow instructions on how to sew or fashion your own masks using different fabrics and common household materials.

The City continues to identify resources to reinforce Cambridge’s response and preparedness activities. For more information and to sign up to receive updates on COVID-19, please visit the City’s dedicated information page: 
https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19.

Page was posted on 4/9/2020 6:02 PM
Page was last modified on 4/9/2020 6:03 PM
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