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Health officials encourage all to cover their face in public


SAN BENITO COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Many are showcasing their crafty side on their run to the grocery store, this week.

"I actually doubled it up with Swiffer pads," said shopper, Jonathan Ransom.

"You can use a bandana or even a paper towel. You can take a stapler and rubber bands," said shopper, Janette Pamuspusan.

Health officials are offering a new recommendation to help curb the spread of COVID-19. People are now encouraged to cover their face when out in public for essential activities.

"We are finding that people may be infectious, may be spreading the virus to others, before they become symptomatic or they never become symptomatic," said San Benito County Health Officer, Dr. Marty Fenstersheib.

In an effort to save as many medical grade N95 masks for hospitals and clinics, the California Department of Public Health encourages people to "DIY" your masks.

"You can use an old sheet, 100% cotton sheet, an undershirt or an old pillowcase. Anything that is made of cotton seems to be the best material to use," said Fenstersheib.

Unlike an N95 mask, that is thrown away after one use, face coverings that are made for repeat use need a little extra care. If used more than once without washing, Fenstersheib said you could potentially increase your own exposure to COVID-19 and other viruses.

"Every time you use it, just like a pair of underwear, wear it once and then throw it in the washing machine," said Fenstersheib.

Fenstersheib stressed that using a face covering does not take the place of other precautionary acts like physical distancing.

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Megan Meier

Megan Meier is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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