Of course, he says, it’s important to follow safety guidelines because there are situations where face masks should not be used, such as by children under the age of 2, by people who have trouble breathing or individuals unable to remove the mask without help.
Otherwise, he says, it’s critical to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in situation where social distancing is not feasible, such as the grocery store or pharmacy.
At Tidelands Health, face coverings or masks are required at all of the health system’s 60-plus care locations as part of the not-for-profit organization’s “Safe in Our Care” commitment, a series of extra precautions put in place to protect patients and reassure them it’s safe to get the medical care they need.
“Wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands regularly clearly help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Harmon says. “When wearing a face covering, be sure it fits snugly and securely and be sure to wash your hands immediately after handling it.”