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ADPH recommends universal face covering

Today, the Alabama Department of Public Health is encouraged everyone to wear a face covering to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

On April  3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that everyone wear non-medical face coverings in public settings. This was done as a way to further reduce the spread of COVID-19 and should not replace the recommendations to practice social distancing, to stay home, and to frequently wash and sanitize your hands.  A non-medical face covering can be a scarf, a bandanna or other face covering.

Reiterating the importance of a facial covering, ADPH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mary McIntyre emphasized the need to abide by the new recommendation; however, she encouraged everyone to remember those on the front lines need the medical masks the most.

“Please remember that medical masks need to be reserved for use by our hospitals, first responders and other health care providers to protect them and to make sure they are available when we need their help.  If you have extra medical masks, gowns or gloves please donate these,” said McIntyre.

Currently, the ADPH Office of Oral Health is accepting donations of personal protective equipment such as gowns, masks and gloves for distribution to area hospital health care personnel. For more information on ways to help contact Jessica Durham at (334) 206-2924 or by email at Jessica.Durham@adph.state.al.us to arrange a drop-off time at the RSA Tower in Montgomery.
To fill in the gap, the ADPH is also seeking donations of face masks for home health care patients. To donate contact Dr. Choona Lang, Homecare Division director, ADPH Bureau of Home and Community Services, at (334) 206-5696 or by email at Choona.Lang@adph.state.al.us.

Locally, Georgia-Pacific recently donated N95 masks to the healthcare workers at D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital. Others in the community are finding ways to make masks at home.

Instructions on how to make face masks can be found on CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.