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Montgomery Township Health Department Mask Guidance

Masks Strongly Advised in Montgomery Parks

As of May 7, 2020:

With the reopening of local parks, the Montgomery Township Health Department strongly recommends individuals wear a face covering in our parks and on open space pathways where people may be in proximity with others.  This is in addition to the required six feet of “social distancing” mandated by the New Jersey governor in all parks statewide and enforced by local police.

Wearing a mask in public helps protect you and those around you. Even if you feel well, it is possible to have COVID without knowing it in these situations:

  • Before you show symptoms (pre-symptomatic);
  • When you have the virus but never show symptoms (asymptomatic)

The Health Department recommends members of the community to:

  1. Continue to follow local, state and national public health recommendations on the use of face coverings in all public places.
  2. Know that masking does not replace physical distancing measures. It is still imperative that we all continue to practice and promote maintaining the recommended six feet of physical distance between yourself and others outside of your household – this applies to children*, teens and adults. Use good judgement and common courtesy and give people passing you on narrow paths enough space to do so safely.
  3. Wear cloth face coverings in areas where physical distancing measures are challenging to follow, such as on narrowtrails, sidewalks, and retail counters.

Your mask will help protect your neighbors and critical workers, such as cashiers, those stocking shelves, pharmacists, health care workers, and first responders.

Remember:

  • Your mask protects me and mine protects you.
  • Wear a Mask. Protect Others. Protect Yourself. Protect Your Family. 

*According to CDC, cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

For more information about masking and other COVID-19 related information, visit www.health.montgomery.nj.us/COVID19 or call the Montgomery Township Health Department COVID-19 Phone line at (908) 533-9313


PUBLIC MASKING GUIDANCE

As of April 4, 2020:

The CDC is developing guidance on universal use of masks in public.  This is due to increasing evidence that people can start spreading the virus even when they don’t feel sick (asymptomatic transmission).

Montgomery Township Board of Health wants our community to act fast to save lives.

We join with the Center for Health Security, Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership Institute, and Public Health experts from multiple nations, in promoting use of masks among the general public when out on essential trips. Masks should be worn whenever you are out of the home in public spaces.

Let’s be clear:  Professionally made masks and N95s must be saved for hospital workers who are putting their lives on the line in this battle.  But homemade cloth masks, or even a bandana or scarf may give the average person a little extra protection against catching (or spreading) the virus.

Here are some general guidelines for using a homemade mask:

  • The mask should be washed in hot soapy water (or machine washed) before first use, and after every trip in public (e.g. grocery store)
  • Wash your hands before touching the clean mask.
  • Mask must be placed over both your nose and your mouth to be effective.
  • While in use, you can’t drink, eat, or smoke or this will not provide protection.
  • Don’t fiddle with or fidget with the mask.  Don’t touch your face.
  • If the mask becomes wet or contaminated, it’s time to change it out and launder.
  • This is not a magic bullet.  This is not an N95, nor even a surgical mask.  A scarf or homemade mask won’t stop aerosols (ultra-fine mists from singing or speaking), but can add some protection for both you and those around you by reducing droplet spread.
  • This does NOT reduce the need to stay at home for all but the most essential trips. 

Stay home. Save Lives. Stop the spread.

Do you like to sew?  You can help your community by making masks for your family and your neighbors.  For instructions, and other ways to help increase the supply of homemade masks, check out https://themasksquad.com/ or on Facebook, see Somerset NJ Mask Squad.