Ann Stehn is Horizon Public Health Administrator. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

Horizon Public Health Administrator Ann Stehn touted the use of face coverings by the public as a way to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus as part of an emergency management update given to the Stevens County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. She distinguished face coverings from the medical grade masks needed by health care professionals.

“The general idea with the masks is that the more people are wearing them, the more we’re just generally protecting our community. The message is a bit tricky,” Stehn admitted. “It is not that it is protecting the person that is wearing the mask. It’s more about protecting those around you. And so we call that source control. And really, it’s about, as you’re talking, coughing, sneezing or any other kinds of things where you might aerosolize that virus — even if you are asymptomatic and you might be potentially a carrier — it does help provide some additional containment of that virus closer to you.”

Stehn said those who wish to make masks at home can find a number of patterns with instructions on the CDC’s website and also through a link on Horizon Public Health’s Facebook page.

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