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Lane County Public Health Says Healthy People Needn't Wear Masks

Mask-trying_on_byBrianBull.jpg
Brian Bull
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Lane County Public Health officials say healthy individuals do not need to wear masks, despite some conflicting opinions.

At a press briefing Thursday, Health and Human Services spokesperson Jason Davis said healthy people don’t need masks. N-95 masks are the only ones approved for protection from COVID-19, but Davis says they should be professionally fitted and saved for frontline health care workers—and they’re not reusable.  Davis says there is a use for other masks in some cases:

“The surgical masks are not an effective way to prevent contracting COVID-19.” Davis says.  “They don’t have the proper filters in place to filter out the tiny viral particles. What they can do though, is if you’re sick, you’re sneezing, your coughing and they can act as a barrier to prevent some of that moisture that’s coming out of your mouth or nose from reaching into the air and to people around you. So, that’s really the best way to use those.”

Davis says wearing a homemade mask can serve the same purpose as a surgical mask. He says staying home and retaining social distance is still the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Davis said the county is doing a good job flattening the curve in terms of cases of COVID-19.

The county has 24 positive cases of the virus as of Thursday afternoon. Among the most recently announced cases are a woman in her 50s from rural Lane County, who is at home. A man in his 20s from Eugene-Springfield who was hospitalized and is now at home. And a male in his 50s who is hospitalized and in an ICU.

Four people are reported to have recovered from COVID-19 in Lane County. One person has died.

Also on Thursday, Davis told reporters local restaurants are helping Food For Lane County feed people who are staying in temporary shelters for the unhoused in Eugene and Springfield.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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