Jackson Co. Public Health now recommending people wear cloth masks in public

MEDFORD, Ore. — Medical researchers are learning new things about covid-19 or coronavirus every day.

Now, the Centers for Disease Control is considering recommending people wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus.

Jackson County Public Health Officer Dr. Jim Shames says you should have 1 or 2 cloth masks, which could be washed when dirty.

The county is not recommending you buy manufactured surgical masks because those are essential for healthcare workers.

“You don’t necessarily have to cough or sneeze to transmit the virus, it can happen in conversation,” said Dr. Shames. “We know that the viral particles may travel further than just the 3 to 6 feet we initially thought.”

Dr. Shames says custom-made, DIY face masks can be used, but the mask will not work well if it is soiled or damaged.

He says there are a number of good reasons to wear a mask:

  • Some people are contagious before they ever get symptoms or feel sick.
  • Droplets transmit the disease, whether through coughing, sneezing, or talking to the person next to you.
  • You are less likely to touch your nose and mouth.

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