A Message from Lake County Health Commissioner Ron H. Graham

COVID-19 infections continue to rise in Lake County. As of April 14, there are 121 reported cases of COVID- 19 amongst Lake County residents with over 7,000 reported cases in the state of Ohio. The Stay at Home Order remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 1, and it is uncertain when or how that order will be lifted. However, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton has indicated that some changes will be necessary as we begin to ease back into our normal activities. One of these changes is the regular use of cloth face coverings or masks when in public. 

While wearing face masks when ill is common in other countries, this is a culture shift for the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that Americans wear cloth face coverings (masks) in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This recommendation is being made based on studies that show a significant proportion of people with COVID-19 lack symptoms and can transmit the virus to others in close proximity, through speaking, coughing, sneezing or other means. 

There are several important points to remember: 

• Use coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and public parks. 

• Maintain six-feet social distancing whenever possible, even if you are wearing a face covering. 

• DO NOT place cloth face coverings on children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. 

• DO NOT use medical supply masks, which must be reserved for healthcare workers, first responders, and people who are known to be sick. 

• Make cloth face coverings from household items or common materials. Use multiple layers of a fabric that does not damage or lose shape when laundered or machine dried. 

• Support small businesses selling fabric masks at a reasonable price, but watch out for scammers offering high-priced or so-called superior masks. 

More information on the use of face masks can be found here. We will be continue to be as responsive as possible, and encourage you to contact us with your COVID-19 questions at (440) 350-2188, or COVID19@lcghd.org. You can also visit our website at www.lcghd.org for the latest information. Stay safe!