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Medical College of Wisconsin Recommends Everyone Wear Cloth Face Covering in Public to Reduce Spread of COVID-19

New guideline added to list of recommendations for ‘flattening the curve’

Milwaukee, April 3, 2020 - The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread easily. Simply being around people dramatically increases the chances of spreading the virus. Individuals may have the virus but not know it for up to a week. For this reason, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) supports the new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that all individuals wear cloth face coverings in public, over the mouth and nose. Recommended face coverings include scarves, bandanas and cloth masks.

“Our goal is to never reach a time when there is a shortage of hospital resources, including ICU beds and breathing machines, for patients in need,” said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, president and CEO of MCW. “Every individual action counts. People wearing a cloth face covering in public places like the grocery store or pharmacy will help to flatten the curve, by reducing the spread of COVID-19.”

The cloth face covering does not eliminate the need to continue social distancing. It is recommended to remain six feet away from others.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, MCW recommends all the following actions:

  • Maintain social distancing, remaining six feet away from others;
  • Clean hands frequently (soap and water for at least 20 seconds or hand sanitizer);
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public over mouth and nose (this can be a scarf, bandana or a cloth mask). Even with the cloth face covering on, continue to use social distancing, remaining 6 feet away from others;
  • Before and after putting on cloth face covering, wash hands with soap and water;
  • Do not touch the cloth face covering while it is being worn;
  • Do not touch face, eyes, nose, or mouth, even when wearing a cloth face covering;
  • Save N95 masks, surgical grade masks and face shields for healthcare workers.

MCW also strongly urges all individuals to comply with Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” orders, as our region still has several more weeks before we reach our projected peak of positive cases of COVID-19.

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