Department Urges Bicyclists, Runners and Walkers to Also Wear Face Coverings
DIGHTON — Chief Robert MacDonald and the Dighton Police Department are encouraging residents to wear face coverings when walking, running or bicycling in an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in the community.
On Friday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a statewide requirement for anyone in public unable to remain socially distant, a minimum of six feet away from others, to wear a face covering beginning May 6. Those under the age of two or with certain health conditions identified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health are exempt from the requirement.
“We encourage all of our residents to begin the practice of wearing a face covering or mask when out in public, even before the statewide order goes into effect,” said Chief MacDonald. “The use of face coverings or masks in public places where maintaining proper social distancing measures is not feasible helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings can include anything that covers your face and nose such as a bandanna or scarf if you are unable to acquire a mask.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people, especially in areas experiencing community transmission of COVID-19, wear cloth face coverings in public when social distancing measures are difficult to adhere to.
The CDC still advises those wearing a face covering to practice social distancing in public when possible, as COVID-19 is believed to be transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when someone with the virus talks, sneezes our coughs. Wearing a face covering helps prevent those who may have COVID-19 and are asymptomatic from passing the virus to others, according to the CDC.
The department additionally advises routine walkers, bicyclists and runners to consider changing their typical routes if they are in areas known for high foot traffic in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
Residents are reminded that some individuals are unable, for a variety of reasons, to wear a mask or face covering. Please avoid shaming anyone who is not wearing a mask. Instead use good judgement and common sense and if you see someone without a mask in public, maintain a safe social distance.
Face coverings can be made out of household fabrics and materials, and should ideally have multiple layers. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which should be reserved for medical professionals and first responders.
Key elements to remember when wearing a face covering include:
- It should fit snugly against the side of your face
- It should be secured with ties or ear loops
- It should have multiple layers of fabric
- It should allow for breathing without restriction
- Fabric face coverings should be cleaned after each use and should be machine washable and dryer safe
- Always remove the mask directly into the laundry or trash and then immediately wash your hands
- Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing your mask
Instructions for how to fashion a homemade face covering with no sewing required can be found here.
To watch a video of Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams making a no-sew face covering, click here.
Per the CDC, face coverings should not be placed on children under two years old, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.