As we begin to show, or not show, our faces in public places, let us consider the dos and don’ts of wearing a face covering.

On April 3, the CDC announced new data revealing up to a quarter of people infected with the coronavirus show no symptoms. At that same time, the CDC announced new recommendations for wearing face coverings. These guidelines recommend that everyone cover their face with a cloth mask while in “public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” like grocery stores or pharmacies.

In our current Phase I status, wearing a simple cloth face covering is recommended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and is helpful to a successful reopening of Montana. With the May 15 inclusion of gyms, museums and theatres in Phase I, an increased awareness of exposure to both ourselves and those around us might be in your list of things to consider when you decide to cover up.

In making your best effort to slow the spread of the virus, here are some points for wearing face coverings in public:

  • Continue to practice social distancing.
  • Cover both your nose and mouth.
  • Avoid touching or playing with the face covering.
  • Wash your hands before putting your face covering on and after taking it off.
  • Remove your mask from the ear loops or ties – not at its center.
  • Wash face coverings at home immediately after each use.

Montana currently has the second lowest COVID-19 incident rate in the nation. We should be proud of our efforts to contain this virus. By choosing to wear a face covering, we can continue to support and protect those in high risk jobs as not only an act of containment, but also one of kindness.

Maury Wiegand has been a personal trainer and wellness educator in Bozeman for the past 25 years.