Dr. Ricky Haug of Core Family Practice.

Because of the (understandable) confusion around the efficacy and etiquette of wearing face masks, we asked Kennett Square’s own “Marcus Welby,” Dr. Ricky Haug of Core Family Practice, for some advice:

While it’s great that we’re moving forward and are in the yellow phase, it’s important to remember that this phase still requires a lot of caution. The virus is still present in our community and in communities across the country. The CDC still recommends that we all continue to remain vigilant and take precautions.

What does this mean regarding masks?

Based on the CDC and department of health guidelines, masks are still recommended and encouraged in all public settings in which social distancing (6 ft.) is difficult to maintain.

Specifically:

  • It’s important to continue to wear a mask inside all stores, pharmacies, gas stations, etc. as well as when you’re picking up takeout from restaurants.
  • Carry a mask with you. If you’re approaching a group or encountering a situation where you’re unable to maintain social distancing, it’s important to wear the mask.
  • Remember that masks help protect others, especially the most vulnerable among us.

Do I need to wear a mask somewhere outside, like Anson B. Nixon Park?

  • If you’re hiking or walking in a park it’s worthwhile to bring a mask to put on if you’re unable to maintain social distancing—for yourself and for the safety of others.
  • Running past someone will not increase the spread.
  • It’s appropriate to pull a mask over your face if someone is walking towards you. This signals that you care about their health and protecting them.

Although many of these social distancing and protection tools feel foreign to us, it’s important that we all do our part, as much as we can, to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

This is a great link from the CDC regarding cloth face coverings and even includes instructions for making masks yourself from common household materials:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/DIY-cloth-face-covering-instructions.pdf