County strongly encourages use of cloth face coverings in public

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GREEN COVE SPRINGS – While neighboring Duval and St. Johns counties have mandated the use of cloth masks in public, the Clay County Board of County Commissioners, County Manager and Emergency Management Director are urging all Clay County residents and visitors to wear masks or cloth face coverings in public settings to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings and/or masks in public settings to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help stop asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers from spreading the virus to others.

Cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from entering the air due to coughing, sneezing or talking. This type of source control reduces the spray of droplets when worn correctly over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (six feet or less), so the use of cloth face coverings is particularly important in settings where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.

Cloth face coverings are an additional public health measure that should be taken, even if you are physically distancing and following other everyday preventive actions. John Ward, Director of Emergency Management in Clay County said, “While wearing cloth face masks is not mandatory in Clay County, we are strongly encouraging anyone in a public setting to take personal responsibility and wear one. This simple action will help protect ourselves, our families and our community.” Ward continued, “While the virus may not negatively impact a young, healthy person, it could easily be spread to someone with a compromised immune system and have a very bad outcome for that person.”

The CDC recommends:

• Cloth face coverings should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, allow for breathing without restriction.

• Cloth face coverings can be secured with ties or ear loops and can include multiple layers of fabric.

• Cloth face coverings should be routinely washed and dried and not microwaved to sterilize.

• Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing cloth face coverings, and wash hands immediately after removing.

• Cloth face coverings should not be worn by children 2 or younger or anyone who has trouble breathing

Go to CDC.gov and search “cloth face coverings” for sew and no-sew instructions.

For more information on the proper use of cloth face coverings, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html.

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