East Orange, NJ, April 6, 2020: The Centers For Disease Control and Infection (CDC), East Orange Mayor Ted R. Green, the East Orange City Council and Director of Health and Human Services Dr. Monique S. Griffith recommend and urge all East Orange residents and those who work in the city to wear cloth face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings in those areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain such as grocery stores and pharmacies, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Wearing a mask will not prevent someone from contracting COVID-19, but it can help prevent them from spreading it to others - especially if they have it, but are not yet showing symptoms. Wearing a cloth mask in public is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended. Cloth masks are not a substitute for social distancing, but rather, a voluntary public health measure that can help to contain the spread of the virus.
Cloth face coverings should:
- Fit tightly, but comfortably to the side of your face.
- Be secured to your head with ties or ear loops.
- Be constructed from multiple layers of cotton fabric.
- Allow for adequate breathing without restriction.
- Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage.
Medical supply masks, such as N95 respirators, must be reserved for healthcare workers, first responders, and those who are known to be sick. Cloth face coverings should not be used for children under the age of 2 years, individuals who are unconscious, having trouble breathing or are unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
In addition to face coverings, residents must still continue to follow the health guidelines to stop the spread:
- Wash your cloth face cover routinely in the washing machine.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
- Stay home if you have cold- or flu-like symptoms, for seven days after your illness onset or three days after your fever resolves without fever reducing medicine, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
For more information, please visit eastorange-nj.gov, covid19.nj.gov, follow us on Facebook and Instagram @EOCityHall or call the Department of Health and Human Services at 973.266.5480.