Do I Still Need to Wear a Mask?

Woman wearing a face mask

Facts and information about the coronavirus pandemic are constantly changing. Visit the CDC site for the most up-to-date information during the COVID-19 outbreak.

When you see businesses reopen, fewer positive cases in your community, and your friends and neighbors returning to their old behaviors, you may wonder if you should still wear a face mask.

The coronavirus pandemic won’t go away overnight. We may see peaks and valleys in new positive COVID-19 cases, but we really don’t know when transmission of the virus will end.

Getting used to life with COVID-19 doesn’t mean that the virus is gone. People responded to the coronavirus outbreak in different ways. Some stayed home and others continued going about their business as usual.

We must be even more diligent about preventing the spread of COVID-19 as we find ourselves around more people more often. Click To Tweet

Should you wear a face mask or face covering?

Wearing a mask is a matter of public health; it’s a simple, effective way to keep those around you safe and help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Research shows that wearing a cloth face covering helps prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.

It’s important to remember that you can have coronavirus and spread the virus even if you do not have symptoms. A mask helps protect those around you.

Here’s some information to help you know whether or not you should continue wearing a mask.

  • Continue wearing a mask as long as coronavirus is still being transmitted in your community. The Arkansas Department of Health updates new positive COVID-19 cases by county in Arkansas.
  • Wear a face covering or mask as long as your local health authorities recommend doing so. Transmission isn’t the same across the country, or even across your state. Look to your local health authorities for guidance on wearing face coverings.
  • Wear a mask when you are in situations where physical distancing is difficult. Spending time indoors in close proximity to others increases the risk of spreading coronavirus.
  • Wear a mask if you are traveling. Some states have travel advisories discouraging travel to certain states, or recommending that people traveling to states with high levels of transmission quarantine for 14 days after returning from their trip.
  • Wear a mask if a business asks that you wear a mask. Arkansas issued a directive on July 20th, 2020 requiring everyone to wear a mask in public places. Even if there is no such directive in your community, be considerate and wear a mask in establishments that request that you wear a mask.

Continue doing your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Wearing a reusable cloth face cover is a simple way to protect the health of your friends, your family, your neighbors, and your community. Make sure that you wear your mask correctly; a mask should cover your nose and your mouth.

It’s not clear how long coronavirus will be around, but it’s essential that we do not stop taking preventive actions prematurely.

  • Continue following the recommendations from your local health authorities.
  • Know how coronavirus spreads.
  • Maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Wear a face covering when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • People at high risk for complications from COVID-19 should take extra measures to avoid exposure to coronavirus.

Contact your doctor if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. If you live in Northwest Arkansas, call your doctor’s office if you develop a fever over 100 degrees and a cough or shortness of breath