Newsletter from the Coastal Health District (January 21, 2021)

The following information is courtesy of the Georgia Department of Public Health Coastal Health District

 

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Weekly Update for 1.21.22
Want Better Protection Against Omicron? Upgrade Your Mask.

In addition to getting vaccinated and boosted, upgrading your mask is another important way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. The Omicron variant is highly contagious, and health experts recommend a well-fitting high filtration mask for optimal protection.

Here is a breakdown of your face mask options and the level of protection you can expect.

No Protection

No mask or improper mask use

  • Your mask should fit over your nose and mouth and be snug against your face with no gaps. 
  • Don't use masks that are damp, dirty, or damaged. 
  • Don't wear masks with exhalation valves, which allow virus particles to escape.

Some Protection

Cloth Masks

  • Washable and reusable, with multiple layers of woven, breathable fabric. 
  • Masks should be washed as soon as they become dirty, or at least once a day.

Better Protection

Surgical Masks

  • Disposable, intended for one time use
  • Multiple layers of non-woven material
  • Provides protection against large droplets

Most Protection

High Filtration Masks (Respirators - N95, KN95, KF94)

  • Varies by mask type, but reusable up to 5 times with proper care
  • Filters up to 95% of particles in the air
  • Seals tightly to the face when fitted properly
  • Designed and regulated to meet international standards.

If you don't have access to a high filtration respirator mask, double up your other mask. Single layer masks are less effective, so wear a cloth mask with multiple layers or wear a cloth mask over a surgical mask. Be sure your mask fits properly - nose wires improve the fit.
  

Helpful Links:

 
Order Free At-Home COVID Tests
This week, the federal government began taking orders for free at-home COVID tests, increasing access to this tool to combat the virus.

Once you have several at-home rapid tests on hand, you can utilize them in scenarios such as:  

  • You begin to have symptoms of COVID-19
  • You have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 (testing is recommended at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.)
  • You're planning to gather indoors with a group of people who are at risk of severe disease or unvaccinated.

Initially, the program allows four free tests per residential address, and they'll be shipped at no cost from COVIDTests.gov

Order Free At-Home COVID Tests
 
 

Vax Up with Whoopi Goldberg

In this video shared by the Atlanta NAACP, Whoopi Goldberg talks about the impact COVID-19 is having in Black and Brown communities, and why she chose vaccination. 
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