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Last Friday the Center for Disease Control issued new guidance on the wearing of masks in public for the general population. It is now recommending that people who go out in public wear a cloth mask. Here are some details:
A new list of priority groups has been published by the State of Washington which changes the order of priority for distribution of masks. Here is the link:
N95 and surgical masks still remain in short supply and are reserved for medical personnel and first responders, and then for the rest of the priority list. Even if you have access to these special types of masks there are people who almost certainly need them more than a member of the general public.
If you plan to wear a mask please use a cloth mask, and remember to launder it at least daily. Unfortunately Clallam County is not able to issue cloth masks to those not on the priority list. We have had a great response from volunteers who are making masks and so far we have received over 5,200. However, as there are about 77,000 people in Clallam County we have a long way to go when it comes to having enough cloth masks for everybody. If you are going to make a mask for yourself please make some more for other folks and let us distribute them for you.
The most important thing to remember about the new CDC guidance is that is does not replace physical distancing and hand washing as the most important precautions we can all take. It is in addition to that guidance. The second thing is that it is voluntary, not mandatory. So if you see someone not wearing a mask they are not breaking any law. As tensions continue to increase please resist any urge you may feel to “call out” someone for not wearing a mask!