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Coronavirus: It’s unclear if wearing masks in public will help, Oviedo mayor says wear them just in case

Mask wearing for general public under review by CDC

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – While healthcare leaders are still reviewing guidelines to determine whether or not the general public should wear face masks to prevent coronavirus the mayor of Oviedo is asking people in her city to wear masks while going out in public.

Oviedo Mayor Megan Sladek is urging everyone to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. She's encouraging people to make and wear face masks when they're out running errands, especially to grocery stores.

"A mask reminds people don't touch your nose, don't touch your mouth, don't help this virus that does not have legs get into your body because once it does it's devastating," Sladek said.

The mayor took her message to social media. She said while homemade masks won't stop you from catching the coronavirus, it can help stop germs from spreading.

"You could be going around with no symptoms and still be infected," she said. "So just wearing that little covering, it's not cute, it's no fun to talk in it, but it helps keep others safe."

People inside an Oviedo Publix were wearing masks as they shopped on Thursday. Shopper Hannah Sparkes said she thinks they could help but the priority is keeping healthcare workers safe.

“I can get her point of view. Obviously, we want to flatten the curve and obviously that will help the situation," Sparkes said. “There are people on the front lines who need them which is paramount.”

The mayor is not encouraging people to buy up the personal protective equipment supply needed for medical workers. Instead she said you can make the double layer masks using fabric or t-shirts.

Seminole County health leaders said they are waiting on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization to determine if people should wear masks in public. The health organizations are reviewing their guidelines.

Sladek believes this will make a difference.

“We can do our part to be good humans, to be good responsible humans,” she said.

Sladek said people should wear masks properly and putting them on before you enter a public space and not mess with it once it’s on.

The mayor said everyone should continue proper hand washing and keep the mask on until you return home and then immediately wash it in soap and water before using it again.


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