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Health Officials Strongly Recommend Face Coverings in Public

The Allen County Department of Health is strongly recommending the community use cloth facial coverings in public until transmission of COVID-19 significantly slows.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently modified recommendations, advising cloth face coverings should be used in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (like grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Allen County health officials believe the area is experiencing community-based transmission of COVID-19.

“These do not need to be hospital-grade or even fancy masks, just as long as they meet the recommended criteria,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan. “As a community, let’s continue working together to slow the spread and flatten the curve.”

According to the CDC, cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Additional details on materials and instructions for making cloth face coverings can be found at

Other important public health strategies the community has adopted during this pandemic should continue to be followed, including:

  • following all state stay-at-home requirements
  • maintaining social distancing of at least six feet and avoiding groups of ten or more people
  • washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible
  • staying home as much as possible and always when sick
  • daily disinfecting high-touch areas in your home, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks