Oviedo mayor asks residents to wear homemade face masks at grocery stores, in other high-touch areas

Mayor shares concerns about people with coronavirus showing no symptoms

Oviedo Mayor Megan Sladek shows off her homemade face cover.
Oviedo Mayor Megan Sladek shows off her homemade face cover. (WKMG 2020)

OVIEDO, Fla. – Oviedo Mayor Megan Sladek recommended Tuesday that residents wear homemade face masks in public places to avoid spreading infectious droplets that carry the coronavirus illness.

Sladek sent an email to residents with ways to prevent the respiratory illness, known as COVID-19, from spreading, addressing the fact that even though everyone has been asked to remain 6 feet away from each other in public, there are people who get the virus and are asymptomatic and never show symptoms.

COVID-19 is spread through droplets from sneezes and coughs and can be spread from person to person. Sladek said one way to prevent coronavirus infections is to think like everyone has the virus.

[MORE: Tips to keep you safe when you’re social distancing outside]

“There is an easy fix: WEAR A HOMEMADE FACE COVER at the grocery store and other high-touch, high-traffic places to stop your own droplets from accidentally getting on things that others will touch,” Sladek wrote. “With so little testing and some people experiencing almost no symptoms, the safest course of action is for us all to assume we are infected, showing no symptoms, and trying hard to keep others from getting sick from us. Begin NOW.”

Sladek said people should not use store-bought or factory-made masks because healthcare need those.

The mayor also shared a video on social media and instructions of how to make face covers.

Sladek stressed that wearing the masks won’t keep you from getting the coronavirus but will prevent the droplets from spreading onto items in the grocery story or in other high-touch areas.

[DO YOUR PART: Are you doing your part to help during the pandemic? Show us how here.]

“The grocery story is quite possibly the germiest, unsafest place you can go,” Sladek said in the video, adding shoppers should not touch products or produce they don’t intend to take home.

Seminole County is under a social-distancing order and all residents should maintain six feet apart in public places and avoid contact.

As of Tuesday night, there were 103 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Seminole County.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.

About the Author:

Emilee is a digital journalist for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com, where she writes about space and Central Florida news. Emilee hosts the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning podcast Space Curious. Previously, she was a space writer and web editor for the Orlando Sentinel and a web producer at the Naples Daily News.