In a press release sent out Monday afternoon, Olmsted County Public Health Services said they are "following the recommendations, science, and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" and recommending the use of masks in public places.

The OCPHS statement said, "The current recommendations include the use of cloth face mask/coverings for visitors, residents and staff when inside public spaces, particularly when keeping six feet between people could be a challenge. This recommendation is grounded in the growing evidence that cloth masks lessen the risk for exposure and infection with COVID-19. With 10-50% of virus carriers being asymptomatic, wearing masks helps control the virus and has been shown to lower COVID-19 spread in the community." 

In their statement, Olmsted County Public Health reminded people that masks are not only important to protecting lives but they also could help prevent another shutdown, "We do not want to see another round of business closure; wearing a mask in public settings will help ensure our businesses remain open and viable." 

 In addition to wearing a mask, OCPH recommends: 

  • Avoid enclosed spaces with large groups of people.
  • Get tested if you have cold or flu-like symptoms. 
  • Stay six feet away from others. 
  • Stay home when not feeling well. 
  • 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
  • Avoid touching your face and mask – with unwashed hands. 

In related news, A new survey by YouGov reveals that 65% of Americans believe coronavirus masks should be required in public spaces. Meanwhile, a survey by ABC showed that 76% of people are concerned about contracting the coronavirus. (up 7% since June 12th)