If You Must Leave Home, Wear A Mask

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

When to Wear a Mask
All Illinoisans should wear as mask or face covering when they must leave their home or report to work for essential operations and they either cannot or it is impractical to maintain 6 feet of physical distance between themselves and others. Examples include:

  • Shopping at essential businesses, like grocery stores or pharmacies,
  • Picking up food from the drive thru or curbside pickup,
  • While visiting your health care provider,
  • Traveling on public transportation,
  • Interacting with customers, clients, or coworkers at essential businesses,
  • Performing essential services for state and local government agencies, such as laboratory testing, where close interactions with other people are unavoidable, and
  • When feeling sick, coughing, or sneezing.

Those who are staying home and have no close contacts that are infected with COVID-19 don’t need a mask while at home. Provided you do so alone or with close, household contacts, other situations that don’t require a mask or face covering include running or walking in your neighborhood, mowing the lawn, performing spring yard cleanup, gardening, driveway car washing, and other outdoor activities on your own property. Nevertheless we must be intentional about avoiding crowds and social distancing so we can enjoy physical connections later.

The full IDPH document can be viewed here.

See more information from the CDC, including instructions on how to make a cloth face mask with or without a sewing machine.

See video of United States Surgeon General demonstrating how to create a cloth face covering.

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