On April 29, 2020

Scott directs Vermonters to wear masks working, in public

 

Staff report

As the state begins taking measured steps toward re-opening, Governor Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Mark Levine say it is more important than ever to wear cloth face coverings whenever Vermonters leave home.

Masks are important in order to keep our communities healthy when we have to be around each other for essential purposes. Droplets produced when you breathe, speak, or clear your throat can spread Covid-19 from person to person. Since you may be infected and not know it, wearing a face covering helps protect people around you from exposure to the virus.

In addition to wearing a face covering when around others in public, we still need to stay at least 6 feet away from others, practice good hand hygiene and follow the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” guidance, according to a April 23 news release from the state.

“When we’re all taking these essential precautions, we’re all a little safer,” said Levine. “Wearing a face covering can take some getting used to, but this will be the new normal for some time. So, help protect your loved ones and your fellow Vermonters by wearing a face covering and knowing how to do so properly.”

“Face coverings are here to stay,” Levine reiterated again on Monday, April 27, during a press conference.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N95 respirators. These types of masks are critical supplies that must be reserved for health care workers and first responders.

For businesses in operation now, employees must wear non-medical cloth face coverings (bandanna, scarf, or non-medical mask, etc.) over their nose and mouth when in the presence of others, according to new guidelines from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

All face coverings should include multiple layers of fabric and allow for breathing without restriction. Face covering also must be worn properly to be effective and avoid the spread of germs. Consider the following:

Wash your hands before putting it on.

Be sure your mouth and nose are covered.

Hook loops around your ears or tie it snugly.

Do not touch the mask or pull it down in public.

Keep it on until you get home.

Remove the mask without touching your eyes, nose or mouth, then wash your hands immediately.

Wash the mask and make sure it’s completely dry before using again. Have a few on hand so you can rotate for washing.

For more information visit healthvermont.gov/Covid19.

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