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Published on October 20, 2020

mother putting mask on daughter

You Can Make a Difference: Masks Save Lives

As your partner in health care who is concerned about the well-being of all people we serve, Avera stands with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in recommending that you wear a mask anytime you are near people who aren’t living in your household.

Here are some important facts about the use of masks.

How do masks reduce the spread of COVID-19?

  • Wearing face masks has been proven to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and decrease hospitalizations and deaths.
  • COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets, even from people with no symptoms. Masks stop respiratory droplets before they reach others, preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Can someone be medically exempt from wearing a mask?

The CDC recommends that children younger than 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove a face mask themselves should not wear a mask.

What happens if I don’t wear a mask?

You are at increased risk for being infected with COVID-19 if you don’t wear a mask. If you cannot wear a mask, you should isolate at home.

Should my child wear a mask to school?

Avera recommends that all staff and students wear face masks in school, with consideration to the student’s individual education plan (IEP), if necessary. Staying informed about COVID-19 is a great way to keep on track, no matter the IEP or situation.

Are you safe if one person wears a mask and the other person doesn’t?

  • When you wear a mask, you are protecting other people from your respiratory droplets.
  • If everyone wears a mask, COVID-19 can be reduced to controllable levels, preventing further waves of the pandemic.

Can people with no symptoms still spread COVID-19?

Yes. 10% to 50% of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, but they can still spread COVID-19.

Do you need to wear a mask outside, or is it only necessary to wear a mask indoors?

You should wear a mask anytime you are near people who aren’t living in your household.

Does wearing a mask reduce your oxygen levels?

Using a face mask, even for a long period of time, has not been shown to cause carbon dioxide toxicity in healthy people.

The CDC recommends that children younger than 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face mask themselves should not wear a mask.

Are cloth masks enough or does it only matter if you are wearing an N-95?

  • N-95 respirators are not necessary for everyday use, and can be uncomfortable and restrictive.
  • N-95s are made to protect health care workers and their patients.
  • Cloth or disposable masks, when worn correctly, have been shown to keep you safe, especially when you’re also practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing.

Learn more at Avera.org/covid-19.

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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