Governor answers: Mask etiquette amid COVID-19 outbreak
BATON ROUGE- Governor John Bel Edwards addressed masks and protective face coverings in his Tuesday afternoon press conference, explaining everyone should be wearing them to protect themselves and one another.
As we continue to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Edwards said it is critical to wear masks as they will be part of the new normal until there is a vaccine.
When asked what ages should wear the PPE, Gov. Edwards said, "Masks are recommended for every person over the age of two, unless that individual has breathing challenges that make it where they just shouldn't wear a mask.
"Masks or face coverings should be worn indoors and outdoors by everyone any time that they are going to be near others who are not members of their immediate households."
Assistant Secretary for Health in Louisiana, Alexander M.D. Billioux, said when you wear a cloth mask, you are limiting the likelihood of shedding virus toward each other.
"If we're all wearing masks, we are limiting the likelihood that if any of us are asymptomatic or symptomatic that we are shedding virus towards each other. So it is important that we do this mutually.
Billoux explained the cloth masks are not to protect the individual wearing it, but everyone else around them.
"If we're all wearing them, everyone protects everyone else, and then you are protected as well," Billoux said during the briefing.
The application of the mask is crucial as it is not effective if worn incorrectly. When you are not wearing the mask, the doctor recommends that it is stored in a bag and folded so that the inside of the mask does not touch any of the germs that were on the outside.
Billoux also says to avoid adjusting the mask as little as possible to prevent the spread of germs that may be on the mask and to make sure it is covering both your nose and your mouth. The face-covering should be fitted, but not too tight.
"The idea is, you want to touch your mask as little as possible and in general, as we have been saying from the beginning, touch your face as little as possible. When you're taking off your mask, you need to wash your hands because you're now going to touch your face," Billoux explained.
Using the earloops to take the mask off will prevent you from touching the germs on the mask before stowing away in a bag.