Brian Kemp wants you to wear a mask despite end of shelter-in-place

Woman wearing mask in supermarket

On the first day after Georgia’s shelter-in-place order officially expired, Gov. Brian Kemp is urging Georgians to continue wearing face masks when they go out, a sign that the governor doesn’t expect the state to return to normal immediately.

Kemp, Dr. Kathleen Toomey, and the Georgia Department of Public Health urge all Georgians to continue to follow safe daily habits to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and keep the virus from spreading. Officials are reminding Georgians to wear a face covering in public settings, practice social distancing, and wash their hands frequently.

According to state health officials, you should wear a cloth face covering whenever you are in a community setting where social distancing may be difficult, such as in the grocery store, picking up food at a restaurant, or riding public transportation and especially in areas of widespread community transmission of COVID-19.

Why it Matters: Cloth face coverings help slow the spread of the virus and help people who may be infected and not know it from transmitting coronavirus to others. This is crucial since you can be infected with the virus without experiencing any symptoms or feeling sick.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has easy-to-follow instructions on how to make a low-cost cloth face covering. According to the CDC, cloth face coverings should allow for breathing without restriction, cover the nose and mouth, and be washed and machine dried after use. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under the age of two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The governor’s office is reminding residents that cloth face coverings does not take the place of social distancing. While the virus is still active in the state, residents should continue to stay at least six feet from other people, avoid gathering in groups and stay away from crowded environments.

Health officials also remind residents to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer — at least 60% alcohol — when soap and water are not readily available. Georgians should also continue to practice good health hygiene, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

While the shelter-in-place order has been lifted, the virus can still spread and is expected to if hygiene and social distancing guidelines are not followed.

For more information about COVID-19, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH, @GeorgiaEMA, and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH, @GEMA.OHS, and @GovKemp on Facebook.

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