By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

OHA releases mask guidelines

Marcus Larson/News-Register##Yamhill County Commissioners use masks during Thursday s hearing.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Yamhill County Commissioners use masks during Thursday's hearing.

“To minimize risk of infection, wash hands before and after touching your mask, and wash cloth masks daily,” OHA recommended.

People may want to own more than one, since masks should never be worn wet or damp, OHA said.

It recommends removing masks only after returning home, and doing so with care, to avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces.

Exercising caution to touch only the strings or ear-loops, it recommends users remove masks and fold the outside corners together, then place immediately in the washing machine. Throw the mask away, if it is disposable, and in either case, immediately wash your hands.

“Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth while removing the mask,” the OHA said.

The World Health Organization has recently stated that the virus may be spread by talking, sneezing, coughing, laughing, singing and shouting, in tiny droplets that can remain suspended in the air for several hours, allowing others to breathe them in, particularly in indoor spaces.

If the droplets contain the novel coronavirus, people inhaling them may become infected.

Scientists are still trying to determine whether the virus is spread more commonly through airborne transmission, or through larger droplets that fall onto surfaces that are then touched by others.

Masks are intended to prevent both large and tiny droplets from being released into the air, as the virus can spread before an infected person develops symptoms.

Although masks are not required for children younger than 12, the OHA “strongly recommends” they be worn by children older than 2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends they be worn by all children older than 2, who do not have a disability that prevents mask-wearing.

Both the CDC and the OHA note that masks should not be worn by those who have trouble breathing.

Homemade cloth masks, scarves and bandanas that cover the mouth and nose are all considered acceptable under the state mandate, as are clear plastic face shields that cover the forehead, extend below the chin and wrap around the sides of the face.

The CDC does not recommend plastic face shields for newborns or infants.



Scientists are also reporting that the virus is being spread to fetuses, thus leaving the newborn already infected even prior to birth.

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