On Friday, April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new recommendations on the use of cloth face masks and coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC, cloth masks and other cloth face coverings can help reduce coronavirus transmission since the virus can spread before someone exhibits any symptoms.
Local officials emphasize that these recommendations should not be viewed as a coronavirus cure and ask the public to continue to stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary, adhere to physical distancing guidelines if out, and to wash their hands routinely.
“Cloth face masks or other homemade face coverings can be helpful to slow the spread of coronavirus from people who may have the virus but have no symptoms,” Mayor Rilling said. “The main purpose of the CDC recommendations is to prevent people from spreading the virus – not protecting someone from getting it. Wearing a face mask should not make anyone feel they are immune to this virus.”
With such a limited supply, there are not enough resources to provide a cloth face mask to everyone. The CDC offers at-home and do-it-yourself guidance on how to create a face covering.
The CDC states maintaining six-foot physical distancing is critically important to slow the spread of the virus. However, in areas where physical distancing is challenging to maintain, like grocery stores, the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering. Additionally, the CDC reminds the public that cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which are critical supplies that must be reserved for frontline first responders and health care workers.
In Norwalk and across the state, following orders by Mayor Rilling and Governor Lamont, grocery stores and other retailers have reduced occupancy limits by 50 percent to allow more physical distancing between customers. Businesses have also implemented measures inside stores, such as plastic shields at check-out areas, opening every other register, and putting down tape markers, to emphasize physical distancing.
“It is critically important to remember that the best way to slow the spread of coronavirus is to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Please, stay home if you can. If you need essentials, like food or medicine, just one person should go out,” Mayor Rilling said. “We have a long way to go before we beat this virus. I ask the public to continue taking all of the necessary precautions to keep themselves and loved ones safe.”