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Posted on: April 6, 2020

Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Joins with CDC Recommendation for Using Cloth Face Coverings

BISMARCK, ND – In light of new recommendation from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health is recommending most individuals wear a cloth face covering while in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

This recommendation is especially important for areas with significant community-based transmission of COVID-19. It is also important that even while wearing a cloth face covering, maintaining the 6-foot halo of physical distancing is critical to slowing the spread of the virus. CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

“We want to remind our residents, this new recommendation does not mean you should be using surgical masks or N-95 respirators,” said Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health Administrator Renae Moch. “We continue to need these specialized medical tools to help ensure the safety of our healthcare workers and first responders who are on the front lines of this pandemic response.”

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under the age of two years. Individuals who have trouble breathing, or are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance, should also not wear a mask.

When removing a used cloth face covering, individuals are reminded to not touch their eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hands immediately after removal of the item. Cloth face coverings should be washed routinely in a washing machine, depending on the frequency of use.

“We want all individuals to be able to have one more resource in their toolbox they can utilize in this pandemic response,” said Moch. “We are not powerless. But it takes everyone making smart, informed decisions and looking out for the well-being of yourself and your literal and figurative neighbor.”

Additional steps every individual can incorporate into their lives to slow the spread of COVID-19 include the following:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap. In the absence of soap, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your T-Zone (eyes, nose and mouth).
  • Practice physical distancing. Avoid social gatherings and groups of more than 10 people. Avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants and food courts. Use drive-through, pickup or delivery options when available.
  • Work from home when possible.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Call your healthcare provider if you develop fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. In the absence of a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay away from individuals who are sick. Limit close contact (about six feet) with others as much as possible.

For more information about the CDC recommendation for cloth face coverings, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html. More information about cloth face coverings, including direction on making and wearing them, is available at  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

For ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Dakota Department of Health has established a COVID-19 Hotline to help answer questions. You can call (866) 207-2880 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Individuals who need medical advice should contact their health care provider.

A COVID-19 Risk Assessment has been created on the North Dakota Department of Health website at https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=ZATqLVHaiEq64rPblLwMVLVJcuxydS5Ii_MFy3BzOwlUOEU0STNZQlJKMzNSWlhXTkJCUlpZVUlLOC4u. A COVID-19 travel survey has been established on the North Dakota Department of Health website at https://ndhealth.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eb7sJjKhR2UfB7n.  

For more information about COVID-19, visit www.bismarcknd.gov/publichealth or follow them on social media at https://www.facebook.com/BBPH.gov, https://twitter.com/BBPublicHealth, and https://www.instagram.com/bbpublichealth/.

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