Ohioans recommended to wear cloth masks in public to help stop coronavirus spread

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohioans are now recommended to wear fabric or cloth coverings or masks when out in public.

Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, the Director of Ohio Department of Health, made the recommendations Saturday in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control.

DeWine said wearing a cloth mask in pubic is not mandatory but strongly recommended. He emphasized masks are to be used as an addition to social distancing, not a substitute.

They’re recommended for people to wear when out in public, but when social distancing could be a challenge such as the grocery store. Acton said wearing one will not prevent someone from contracting the coronavirus but they could help stop the spread.

“This is for us to wear to protect other people knowing that many of us are asymptomatic,” said Acton. “Some studies are showing that up to 25 percent of people may never even know they had this.”

They encourage Ohioans to still leave any surgical or N-95 mask for those in the healthcare industry.

Acton said for those interested in making a mask, to know certain fabrics are better than others.

“You don’t want to be able to see the light through the fabric you choose, and there are ways to make it without sewing,” said Acton.

Rachel Estep and Valerie Thorn started a mask sewing Facebook group and told 2 NEWS on Saturday that over 50 people that they have dubbed their sewing angels are helping. They’ve already sent out 1,185 masks, have orders for 2,605 more and that the number is increasing every hour.

Thorn said there is an order form on their Facebook page but that they’re prioritizing who their batches go to.

“We have provided masks for private individuals that have immune compromised systems and their family members that are helping take care of them,” said Thorn.

And they said they do want to give a heads up that many items are in short supply so mask makers will likely have to get creative.

“Elastic is like gold,” said Thorn. “So we have improvised. Now, we are making our own tape and sewing it. We are using shoestrings that are 45 inches, we’re using cotton twill tape, yarn, we are double crocheting ties that go on the masks.”

For more information and guidance from the Ohio Department of Health on making masks, click here.

For more information on Estep and Thorn’s sewing group in Brookville, click here.

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