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How Wearing a Mask can make a Difference

How Wearing a Mask can make a Difference

Why Wear a Mask?

It’s the big question on everyone’s minds. If surgical masks or N-95 respirators are the most effective at blocking viral respiratory droplets, then why bother wearing a cloth mask?

It’s not about your protection – it’s about protecting others.

We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.

A cloth mask may not prevent you from breathing in respiratory droplets that carry a virus, like COVID-19. But it will help to protect others from you, and the infected respiratory droplets you could spread. As we continue to navigate the new normal in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, it is important to understand the role that preventative measures play when it comes to stopping the spread of this viral illness.

Who You Protect by Wearing a Mask

People generally think of protecting themselves when wearing a mask.

In this case, the purpose of wearing a cloth mask is to help protect others from being infected by the person wearing the mask.

The reality is that people may be infected and contagious without displaying symptoms. By wearing a mask, you are further protecting those who are at a higher risk of developing severe illness, including people who are or have:

  • Asthma
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Serious Heart conditions
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Obesity
  • Elderly adults over 65
  • Immunocompromised
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding

When You Should Wear a Mask

The CDC recommends that you wear a mask or cloth face-covering in public spaces, especially in instances where other social and physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. As public spaces continue to re-open, be vigilant in wearing your mask to help slow, and eventually stop the spread of COVID-19.

Virginia Governor Northam has mandated wearing masks while in public indoor areas as of Friday, May 29.

Exceptions include:

  • While eating, drinking or exercising
  • If you have trouble breathing or are unable to remove the mask without help
  • If your health conditions prohibit wearing a face covering

Valley Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

At Valley Health, we are dedicated to putting the health and wellness of our community first. We are closely working with the CDC, Virginia Department of Health, and West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources. If you have respiratory symptoms or think you have been exposed to COVID-19, please call your doctor.

If you do not have a doctor or your doctor’s office is closed, call Valley Health’s Respiratory Care Phone Line to discuss your symptoms: 540-536-0380. Your doctor or our Respiratory Care team will screen you and, if indicated, refer you for COVID-19 testing.

All Valley Health practices, including family medicine, specialty practices, and Valley Health Urgent Care and Quick Care centers, are offering telehealth virtual visits. To learn more about seeing a doctor from the comfort of your home, visit www.valleyhealthlink.com/telehealth.

For more COVID-19 related updates, please visit www.valleyhealthlink.com/COVID19.