LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles healthcare professionals are joining a growing number of jurisdictions that encourage people to wear fabric masks when they go public – while warning the public not to buy the surgical masks that healthcare professionals need more urgently.
Barbara Ferrer, head of the province’s health department, released a new manual on Wednesday in which she reports 11 new deaths from COVID-19, nine of which are over 65 years old and nine of which also have underlying diseases.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were a total of 3,518 COWID-19 cases and 513 new cases in Los Angeles County. Five of these cases involve homeless people, she added.
According to Ferrer, health officials are investigating coronavirus cases in nursing homes,
specialised care centres, homes for the elderly, residential treatment programmes, reception centres, prisons and other institutional institutions.
According to their data, a total of 207 positive cases were registered in these 43 establishments and seven people died.
Regarding masks as a form of prophylaxis against coronaviruses, Ms. Ferrer reiterated the new evidence that people with the virus can spread the virus 48 hours before symptoms begin, and said it could be useful for people wearing masks to go out in public.
A woman wearing a protective mask on the second floor… March 2020 on the Westminster Bridge in central London. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
However, Ferrer noted that residents should not purchase surgical or high-tech N95 masks, which are normally used by advanced doctors, but can use household items such as scarves, bandanas or fabrics.
Don’t go out there and try not to take the N95. We have to protect these supplies for our health workers, Ferrer said.
By way of clarification: Ferrer said that masks can help those who carry the virus unconsciously to transmit it to others.
But wearing a mask is not a shield, and it doesn’t replace our demand that you stay at home, that you always practice social detachment, that you make sure, even by washing your hands, that you don’t get infected after touching something or someone who might be infected, and that you isolate yourself and possibly quarantine yourself, she said.