The importance of wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic

Image source: Eric Rudd,

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very important to protect yourself and those around you in order to stay healthy. The CDC recommends that people wear cloth masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household. Cloth masks should be worn over the mouth and the nose.

group sitting in circle talking with masks on

Image source: Eric Rudd,

According to the CDC, the general public should wear a mask.

  • The CDC recommends that people wear cloth masks in public and when around people who don’t live in your house.
  • 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 cloth masks in public settings and practice physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people).
  • While cloth masks are strongly encouraged to reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recognizes there are specific instances when wearing a cloth mask may not be possible. In these instances, adaptations and alternatives should be considered whenever possible (see below for examples).

Health experts across the country and the world say wearing a mask can stop the spread of coronavirus. “The mask protects other people,” Aaron Carroll, MD, said in a Tweet from June 16th, 2020. “That’s why you wear it. To protect other people. When you see others wearing it, and choose not to, you’re signaling it’s not important to protect others.”

woman and man sitting at fountain with mask on

Image source: Eric Rudd,

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, several Indiana counties, including Marion county, have taken additional steps to prevent the spread of the virus. On July 2nd, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hoggsett issued an order to mandate masks in public spaces. Three other counties in Indiana — Elkhart, LaGrange, and St. Joseph — plan to enact the same mandate. Starting July 9th, all residents of Marion and these three counties are required to wear masks in any indoor spaces and outdoor spaces where physical distancing measures cannot be followed. Failure to comply with the order may be fined.

Please continue to follow physical distancing guidelines, and be sure to wear a mask any time you are in public. By working together to keep each other safe, we can slow the spread of COVID-19.