Herts County Council’s advice about the use of face coverings to avoid the spread of coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 May 2020
The government is now advising the public to wear a face covering in some circumstances, such as enclosed spaces where social distancing may not always be possible, so Hertfordshire County Council has issued guidance for employers and the public.
Face coverings do not protect you from contracting coronavirus. However, if you are infected but haven’t yet developed symptoms, they should help to provide some protection for people you come into contact with.
A face covering is made of cloth and covers the nose and mouth. You can use a scarf, buy face coverings online, or make your own ‘no sew’ ones by searching for ‘face coverings’ on gov.uk.
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Professor Jim McManus, the county council’s director of public health, said: “Remember, face coverings do not replace social distancing, good hand washing and good hygiene, as these are the most important and effective measures we can all adopt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“We are urging people not to buy the surgical face masks or respirators worn by frontline workers in health and care settings because these are prioritised for those who are working in environments where the risk is greatest. People who have been advised to use surgical face masks or respirators by Public Health England, their health or care employers or the Hertfordshire Public Health Team should continue to use these.”
The safe use of face coverings is crucial. The county council says you must wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, taking it off, washing it and storing it; and clean any surfaces your face covering has come into contact with. HCC says you should avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them - which should be after each use, in your usual laundry, using normal detergent.
Face coverings are not recommended for children under two, primary-aged children who cannot use them without assistance, or those who may have problems breathing while wearing one.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you and all members of your household must self-isolate promptly and get tested as soon as possible if eligible. Visit gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test
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