We are now asking all patients to wear a mask whilst they are attending Wellbeing McLaren Vale. You will be provided with a mask on arrival and asked to keep it on until you leave the building. The masks are good quality hand made masks and we encourage you to reuse them. Of course it is essential to continue to prevent the spread of Coronavirus by :
Washing your hands
Keeping your hands away from your face
Practicing social distancing
Using cough etiquette
Why are we asking you to wear a mask? We have been told that wearing a face mask will not prevent you from contracting coronavirus. However, patients with COVID-19 may be infectious for up to two days prior to developing symptoms. Patients with COVID-19 may have no symptoms at all throughout the course of the illness. We are therefore all at risk of contracting Coronavirus from people who have no idea that they are infectious.
Face masks help prevent the spread of infection including coronavirus from you to others. We don’t have to use surgical or P95 masks to get the benefit. A Cambridge University study showed that lots of household materials can be used instead of surgical masks and using two layers of material can make them even better. Cotton filters out greater than 50% of virus particles exhaled by an infected person. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to reduce the viral load so that our immune systems can kick in and do their job.
So, we are not asking you to wear a face mask to protect you from getting coronavirus from others. We are asking you to wear a face mask to prevent you from infecting others. If we all wear face masks, we can all protect each other.
I wear a mask to protect you
You wear a mask to protect me
Does wearing a face mask work in reducing the incidence of Coronavirus? Countries such as South Korea and Japan where the wearing of masks is the social norm have been able to control the outbreak of coronavirus much better than countries where the wearing of masks is rare.
What are other countries doing about face masks for their populations? From March 17 the entire population of the Czech Republic has been required to wear masks when they are out in public. From 30 March masks have been compulsory in Austria.
“The big mistake in the U.S. and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks. This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role—you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth. Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.” –China’s CDC Director
The primary way of person-to-person corona virus transmission is via aerosols or small droplets created by breathing, sneezing or coughing. The reach of exhaled air can be effectively reduced using a face mask – LA Vision
Why not a surgical mask or N95 mask?
Surgical masks and N95 masks are in very short supply. It is important that these masks are reserved for emergency service workers and health workers who are coming in to direct contact.
Instructions for Mask Use
How to Use a Home-Made Mask
Wash the mask before using it
Avoid touching the front of the mask. If you do, wash your hands
Wash your hands thoroughly before wearing the mask.
As soon as the mask becomes damp or humid, switch to another mask.
Never reuse a mask after single use without cleaning it.
Store clean masks in a clean plastic bag ready for use
When removing the mask:
Do not touch the front or any other surface of the mask, remove it only with strings behind
Always untie the string below and then the string above
After removal, immediately clean your hands with 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer or with soap and water for 40 seconds
Wash your mask after each use
Can I reuse my face mask and how do I clean it?
Your face mask can be reused. We recommend washing it daily using the warmest appropriate water temperature setting and dry items completely in the sun or in a clothes dryer.
Patterns for Mask Making
New York Times
A Review of the Scientific Literature