Wear A Mask To Protect Others

A cloth face covering may not protect the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others.

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or raises their voice – for instance, while shouting, chanting or singing. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or be inhaled into the lungs. Studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms – are “asymptomatic” – and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that all people 2 and older wear cloth face coverings in public settings around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing is difficult to maintain. Tulsa recently passed a mask ordinance requiring face coverings.

Why is it important to wear a cloth face covering? Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people, such as in stores and restaurants.

The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when face coverings are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent hand washing and cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces. COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected. That’s why it’s important for everyone to wear face coverings in public and practice social distancing – staying at least 6 feet away from other people.

While cloth face coverings are strongly encouraged to reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recognizes that there are instances when wearing them may not be feasible. People who are engaged in high intensity activities such as running or Zumba may not be able to wear a face covering if it causes difficulty breathing. If you are unable to wear a face covering, consider conducting the activity where there is greater ventilation and air exchange – outdoors, for instance, instead of indoors – and where it is possible to maintain physical distance from others.