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  1. ITV Report

Coronavirus: 'Limited evidence' that cloth masks reduce spread

Dr Ivan Muscat has outlined the current Public Health position on them, following an increase in interest from the public. Credit: USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images

There is limited evidence that wearing a cloth mask reduces the spread of coronavirus, Jersey's Medical Officer has said.

Dr Ivan Muscat has outlined the current Public Health position on them, following an increase in interest from the public.

He says wearing a cloth mask is "absolutely not a substitute for appropriate social distancing, stay at home guidance or good hand and respiratory hygiene", but could reduce transmission of large respiratory droplets onto others, and reduce the risk of the wearing acquiring infection.

Covering your mouth with a scarf could be equally as effective, Dr Muscat goes on to say, however if people do wish to wear one, they should:

  • Change the mask every two hours
  • Wash, tumble dry and iron the mask
  • Wash your hands after removing the mask

Using a mask to cover your nose and mouth could be used in addition to social distancing during the 2-hour outdoor time, in particular for example, when buying food. They could also be used by essential and critical workers when travelling to and from work and at work.

Under no circumstances would a cloth mask be a substitute for personal protection equipment (PPE) in any clinical setting. Medical grade PPE is the only acceptable form of PPE in these settings. Medical grade masks are not recommended for use by the public or in social situations. They are designed for clinical use only.

– Dr Ivan Muscat, Jersey's Medical Officer

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