Coronavirus: CMO Dr. Sharon Belmar-George on the safe use of face masks (SEE VIDEO)

By Ministry of Health

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(PRESS RELEASE) – As of April 7, 2020, Saint Lucia has a total of 14 confirmed cases. Effective Tuesday, April 7, 2020, Saint Lucia was reduced from a 24-hour curfew to a 10-hour curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Some of the national protocols include: stay at home as much as possible, unless it is for food or medical purposes, avoid mass crowd events and social gatherings, practice social distancing and good personal hygiene.

One of the recommendations included the use of a face mask or scarf when going to public places such as the supermarkets. The face mask or scarf may be used for source control by reducing potential exposure risk from infected persons during the “pre-symptomatic” period.

For face masks to be effective in reducing infection, they must be used properly. Some basic guidelines include:

– Ensure the mask is clean before using
– Wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer before touching the mask.
– The mask should be held by the ties or the loops only.
– The coverings should be fit snugly but comfortably and allow for breathing without restriction.
– Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when the mask is on your face and when removing the face mask.
– They should be washed daily after use.
– Do not use medical supply masks (surgical and N95 masks), which must be reserved for healthcare workers, first responders, and people who are known to be sick.

The public is reminded to focus on the maintenance of standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection.

These include:

– – regular handwashing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer where soap and water are not available.
– – cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing.
– – avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
– – seek medical attention and share your travel history with your health care provider if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel.

We continue to advise on social or physical distancing as an effective strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

 

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