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Fredericksburg COVID-19 Update for April 8, 2020:
As of April 8th, there have been a total of 108 positive cases in PD16 (Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford counties and the City of Fredericksburg). 53 cases have been confirmed in Stafford, 31 in Spotsylvania, 10 in King George, 4 in Caroline and 10 in Fredericksburg.
City Government buildings are still closed to the public but we are still providing all services.
Fire Chief Mike Jones provides an overview of face masks and face coverings in today’s update:
What is a face covering and what is it designed to do?
A face covering can be any type of cloth used to cover the mouth and nose of the individual. They can be bandannas, scarves or something homemade. It only really needs to cover the mouth and the nose… it doesn’t need to cover your entire face but just enough to cover the openings for the nostrils and the mouth. It will not necessarily prevent you from getting Covid-19 but prevent you from possibly spreading it to other people if you’re asymptomatic. The CDC recommends that you wear a face covering if you’re going to go out to the grocery store, the pharmacy or open areas where you can’t practice social distancing.
What are face masks and who needs them?
There are several types of face masks. The first one is a surgical style face mask that’s usually used by healthcare workers, doctors, dentists, nurses, first responders. They are used when they’re examining patients who either they suspect of having a communicable disease which is a contagious disease or Covid-19. They’re designed to block large droplets but they can’t do the smallest droplets like Covid-19. Face masks are also more form-fitting to your face around the bridge of the nose. Our desire during this pandemic is to be able to use a surgical mask when we assess a patient. To be able to have them put a surgical mask on themselves and then surgical masks on the actual providers would help prevent or reduce the potential of the transmission of disease back and forth between the two.
What is an N95 mask?
An N95 mask is a particulate type mask designed to filter out the smallest particulates and they are usually used by first responders when they’re dealing with suspected patients with Covid-19 or other highly communicable diseases. These masks reduce over 95 percent of contaminants. They should not be needed by the average citizen so just if going out to the store you don’t need an N95 mask. If you end up being a caregiver for a known Covid-19 patient then consult with your primary care physician or the local health department about what type of face covering or face masks you might need use when caring for the patient.