At his weekly COVID-19 briefing, Governor Doug Burgum announced a new awareness campaign to encourage North Dakotans to wear face masks to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Dr. Andrew Stahl is North Dakota's interim State Health Officer. He says masks are not only a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19, but also the most powerful tool available to stop the virus. He says the virus is spread by respiratory droplets with coughs, sneezing and even speaking. And he says recent data supports their effectiveness in stopping the spread.
"Recently, the CDC published a morbidity and mortality report highlighting cases in Missouri where two hairstylists were both symptomatically infected, but yet continued to cut the hair of their clients. They had 139 clients. Those clients also by and large wore masks. There was no spread to those clients."
Stahl says he finds it encouraging that many schools opening this fall are requiring masks to be worn by teachers, staff and students. He says now is a good time to get kids used to wearing their masks, and parents can make it fun by involving their children in picking their own masks.
Stahl says members of the public can participate in the "Mask Up ND" campaign by posting photos of themselves in their masks on social media with the hashtag, #maskupnd. He says a website has been created with images that can be downloaded and shared.