Health Officials, Doctors urge wearing homemade masks when out in public


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The CDC is recommending people wear cloth face masks when out in public to help flatten the COVID19 curve. State health professionals including South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) says wearing homemade masks in public may reduce the possibility of transmitting or contracting COVID19 in situations where social distancing is difficult. 

Dr. Melissa Ellis-Yarian, a doctor with Roper St. Francis says it’s important for everyone to wear masks, especially in places where social distancing might by possible.

“I absolutely think we should follow the advice of the CDC and be wearing masks when we have to go out to public places like the grocery store or pharmacy,” says Ellis-Yarian.

Dr. Ellis-Yarian says people could be unknowingly spreading COVID19 by not wearing masks when out in public.

“There are many people walking around who have the virus and are spreading the Coronavirus but they have no symptoms,” says Ellis-Yarian.

Dr. Ellis-Yarian says it’s crucial people are making and wearing their own cloth masks rather than buying and using medical grade masks as supplies for hospitals become harder to find.

“The CDC actually has a great tutorial on their website as to how you can make your own cloth mask at home from a cotton fabric, it’s really easy,” says Ellis-Yarian. “You can do it with a t-shirt or a bandanna.”

Phil Bennett who works as contractor says he’s been wearing masks for a few days. Bennett says it’s imperative people are following the recommendations from the CDC to prevent unknowingly spreading the virus.

“This is one measure we can take,” says Bennett. “We can wear masks and I’m protecting you from getting it if I have it and have no sypmtoms.”

Bennett says his employees are taking every precaution by wearing masks and gloves when working to prevent spreading COVID19, he says it’s important people understand the risks when not taking measures.

“You could have Coronavirus and show no symptoms whatsoever, and it’s imperative if you have it and have no symptoms that you’re not giving it to someone else,” says Bennett.

Doctors stress that wearing a cloth mask in public does not replace the need for social distancing or washing your hands. Health Officials are also urging the use of an online healthcare service if you believe you are experiencing symptoms rather than going to a hospital.

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