Dean Wallace, Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health, has raised concerns about the number of people choosing not to wear a mask or wearing them incorrectly.
He says covering up, along with regular hand-washing and social distancing, is one of the key things people can do to help stop the spread of coronavirus and has stepped up to debunk some of the common mask-wearing myths.
Common mask-wearing myths
Myth: Masks are dangerous because they limit your oxygen levels
This isn’t true. The truth is most common types of protective mask, such as surgical masks and cloth masks, will not interfere with oxygen levels and are safe to use.
Myth: It’s ok to remove your mask to speak
This isn’t true. You must keep your mouth and nose covered to prevent tiny droplets that are released when you speak, sneeze, or talk from being inhaled by others. This is how the virus passes from person to person.
Myth: You only need to wear a face covering if you have symptoms
This isn’t true. You could be carrying coronavirus even if you haven’t got any symptoms and covering up means you’re less likely to pass it on.
Myth: You only need to cover your mouth not your nose
This isn’t true. It is really important that your face covering goes over your nose as well as your mouth to protect you from inhaling tiny airborne droplets from people who are infected – and to prevent you from passing the virus to others. The virus is carried in this way between people when they speak, sneeze, or talk.
Myth: You don’t need to wear a mask outdoors
This is not true. Tiny droplets that are released when you speak, sneeze, or talk can travel in the air and be inhaled by others whether you are indoors or outdoors. So in areas where it’s not possible to stay at least 2 metres away from others, you should wear a face covering.
Mr Wallace said:
“I understand that there are some people who can’t cover up for medical reasons but the numbers are relatively few.
“So for everyone else, the message couldn’t be more simple – check you have a face-covering every time you leave the house and make sure you wear it in enclosed public spaces or if you’re in a busy park or street where it’s difficult to keep 2 metres away from people you don’t live with.
“And remember, there are no half measures. A mask worn under your nose or chin is just a face-warmer. So let’s do it right and help prevent the spread of this virus to protect ourselves and the ones we love. Let’s do it for Derbyshire.”
Find out more about coronavirus including how to protect yourself, how and when to get a test, when to self-isolate, how to access support and the numbers of cases in Derbyshire.