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Thank you, Wisconsin! We appreciate you for going above and beyond to support each other for the past two years.
Protect your loved ones, neighbors, and fellow Wisconsinites by wearing a mask. Science shows that wearing a well-fitting, multi-layered mask can help prevent transmission of the respiratory droplets and aerosols that spread COVID-19. Wearing a mask is one way to protect others, as well as yourself.
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Practicing layered prevention strategies, like staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, isolating and quarantining when necessary, and wearing a well-fitting mask, can help keep you and others from getting sick and out of the hospital. Knowing the COVID-19 Community Level where you live can help you decide which prevention steps are most important to keep you and your family safe.
Regardless of your COVID-19 Community level, continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others if you have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or if you are symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19. Follow the specific instructions for isolation and quarantine. Wearing a mask is no longer required on public transportation (including planes, buses, and trains) traveling domestically in the U.S. and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend that people wear a well-fitting mask in indoor public transportation settings, especially if they are at increased risk for severe disease.
Your mask should cover both your mouth and nose, fit snugly against your face, and have at least two layers of material. Your mask should also have a nose wire to help prevent respiratory droplets and aerosols from leaking in and out around the edges. You can check for gaps by feeling for airflow around the top, side, or bottom of your mask. Learn how to improve the way your mask fits and functions.
All masks and respirators provide some level of protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Some masks and respirators may offer more protection than others but can be harder to wear consistently throughout the day. Wear the most protective mask or respirator you can that fits well and that you can wear comfortably for long periods of time, if necessary.
Although masks are less effective than respirators, they can still be effective tools to help stop the spread of disease. It is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask when protecting yourself from COVID-19. Find more information on different types of masks and respirators.
Respiratory droplets are released when someone coughs, sneezes, talks, or breathes. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads from person to person through these respiratory droplets. A mask forms a barrier that reduces the amount of respiratory droplets traveling in the air. They also reduce the amount these droplets inhaled in the nose or mouth of other people. Masks work best when everyone consistently and correctly wears them.
Studies show that a well-fitted, multi-layer face mask can block the majority of respiratory droplets from escaping into the air. This reduces the wearers’ exposure to infectious droplets by filtering them out of the air they breathe. The use of masks have been shown to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection by 70% or more in a variety of settings (for example, homes, workplaces, airplanes). However, masks are most effective when combined with other preventive measures, such as getting vaccinated.
Reusable masks (such as cloth masks) should be washed frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Use regular laundry detergent and a warm or hot water setting. Dry on warm or high heat, or lay flat and allow to air dry completely in sunlight, if possible. Do not wear when damp. If you have a disposable face mask, you should throw it away after wearing it once.
If you need a mask but do not have access to one, you may be able to make your own by sewing one. There is no standard design for homemade masks, but there are many patterns and instructions online from hospitals and other organizations.
If making your own mask, keep the following in mind:
In addition to getting vaccinated, wearing a mask is an effective way to fight the spread of COVID-19. To prevent COVID-19 infection, the CDC, national lung organizations, and asthma doctors across the country agree that it’s especially important for people with asthma and other lung diseases to wear a mask or face covering. This is because they might be at an increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.
Are masks safe for people with asthma?
The CDC, national lung organizations, and asthma doctors across the country agree that it is especially important people with asthma and other lung diseases to wear a mask. They all agree that masks are safe for people with controlled asthma.
What kind of mask should I wear?
What kind of mask should I avoid?
Will my asthma symptoms worsen while wearing a mask?
People over age 2 with asthma should be able to breathe through cloth or standard medical masks without trouble. There is enough airflow from gaps around the mask and through it that provide plenty of oxygen.
What if I experience difficulty breathing while wearing a mask?
Can I wear a face shield instead of a mask?
Wearing a face shield alone doesn’t limit the spread of air droplets as effectively as a mask. Consider wearing a face shield with your mask if you cannot keep at least 6 feet away from other people.
Should I wear a mask during exercise?
What can I do if my job requires wearing a mask?
You may be required to wear a mask as part of your job. If you have trouble breathing while wearing a mask, talk to your employer about other strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. People with asthma are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and can ask for reasonable accommodations like working from home, taking more frequent breaks, or wearing a face shield.
What are some other benefits of wearing a mask?
Wearing a mask can also help block asthma triggers like common cold viruses, flu virus, cold air, pollen, and animal dander.
Where can I get more information?
*Adapted from materials developed by the Michigan Department of Health & Human Resources’ Asthma Program.
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