With COVID-19 on the rise in Wichita, wearing a mask is not only required – it’s essential. Only by complying with the order can we get the infection rate under control, lower the increasing number of hospitalizations and eventually get back to some form of normal life.
Yes, wearing a mask may be an inconvenience to some. But, to others, it’s a way of showing the love they hold for their family, friends and community. If you look at it from that perspective, any inconvenience quickly fades from view. Ask yourself who you would be willing to wear a mask to protect, and you’ll likely find the list to be longer than you imagined.
So save a life. Wear a mask. If we each commit to taking this simple precaution, we can reduce the odds that someone we love will be COVID-19’s next victim. And that’s worth a little inconvenience.
Why wear a mask?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets, which are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, and can be inhaled into the lungs.
Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms, or are “asymptomatic.” Even those who eventually develop symptoms, or are “pre-symptomatic,” can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. So while you can feel perfectly healthy at a given moment, it is still possible that you have been exposed to – and can spread – COVID-19.
To reduce this possibility, the CDC recommends wearing a mask in public settings, especially in situations when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
It is important to note that, while masks may not protect the wearer completely, they can be effective in preventing the wearer from spreading the virus to those around them. So the more people who wear them, the more we can reduce community spread of COVID-19.
Quick facts about masking
- The more people who wear masks in public regularly, the more effective masking can be in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
- The less the virus is transmitted, the lower the death toll and economic impact of COVID-19 will be.
33,000 lives saved by Oct. 1, 2020, if 95% of Americans wore masks in public
- Wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent hand hygiene are the primary ways everyone can help reduce the threat of the virus.
Children and masks
Children 2 years and older should wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when in public settings where it’s difficult to practice social distancing. Masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or by anyone that has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove their mask without assistance.
Masking children is a measure that should be taken in addition to – not instead of – other preventative actions such as:
- Practicing good hand hygiene. Children should clean their hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoiding people who are sick(coughing and sneezing).
- Maintaining proper social distancing of at least 6 feet when outside of the home.
Wearing a mask properly
- Always wash your hands before putting on your face covering
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
- Make sure you can breathe easily
Wesley Healthcare recognizes that promoting mask use in our community is a massive undertaking, and appreciates the participation of many community partners in helping to spread this important message. The following organizations have participated in helping us plan and execute this campaign:
- African American Council of Elders
- Child Start
- City of Cheney
- City of Derby
- City of McPherson
- City of Valley Center
- KAKE TV
- KWCH TV
- Regional Economic Area Partnership (REAP)
- Sedgwick County
- Sedgwick County Association of Cities
- Visit Wichita
- Wesley Friends
- Wichita Community Foundation
- Wichita Workforce Center
- Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas