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> COVID19 Prevention Measures: Help Stop the Spread

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING of our community is our top priority. Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is working closely with community partners to prevent and respond to the evolving novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Masks and Face Coverings

Face mask icon -- Use a Face CoveringOn July 30, 2021, the Tompkins County Health Department issued a Health Advisory due to the rise in COVID-19 cases during the latter half of July. The Advisory urges everyone to start wearing a mask while indoors and around others. The Advisory states: “Out of an abundance of caution, TCHD is issuing a Health Advisory encouraging all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask while indoors around others.”

Unvaccinated individuals over age 2 should always wear a mask when in public places and with others outside of their household.

Why Use a Face Mask
  • A mask slows the spread of the virus by people who are contagious and do not know it.
  • The virus spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets and aerosols produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. Loud talking, shouting, and singing can increase the distance the virus spreads beyond 6 feet. This can be limited by wearing a cloth face covering. (CDC)
  • The more people who wear a mask, the better they work to reduce the spread of COVID-19. For example, in indoor settings where people stay for more than 10 minutes, every mask worn is increasing the protection for everyone there.
  • Recent studies by the CDC demonstrate that not wearing a mask increases the risk of an infected person spreading the virus (1), and of a close contact becoming infected (2).

Remember: My mask protects you, your mask protects me. (Click here to find out how.)

When to use a face mask
  • Unvaccinated individuals are expected to wear a mask
    • In all indoor public places, around others who are either vaccinated or unvaccinated.
    • When in close contact with, or in the same room with high risk individuals (immunocompromised or have a chronic disease).
    • In crowded outdoor settings where you expect or cannot avoid close contact with others, including public events (fairs or festivals) and private parties (weddings).
  • Vaccinated individuals are advised to wear a mask
    • In areas where the level of community transmission is either "substantial" or "high," follow guidance for unvaccinated people.
    • If you are immunocompromised you are advised to wear a mask in indoor public settings and crowded outdoor places where close contact is either expected or cannot be avoided.
  • References

What is Acceptable as a Face Mask
  • A face covering should fit snugly over your nose, mouth, and chin. Use a mask with a nose wire for the best fit.
  • Acceptable face-coverings include cloth masks with 2 or more layers of beathable fabric, surgical masks, and N95 (or KN95) respirators.
Not Acceptable
  • Face shields are not acceptable as a face-covering. Note that face shields may be used in addition to another mask.
  • Masks with one-way valves that facilitate breathing out are not acceptable.
How to Wear a Cloth Face Mask

Cloth face coverings should —

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
  • CDC: Improve How Your Mask Protects You.

Putting on and taking off a face covering (donning and doffing) —

  • Remove a face mask carefully so you do not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Wash or sanitize hands immediately after removing your face mask.

  • Watch a short video (just 90 seconds) about how to put on and take off a face covering. 
    If you don't see the video in the box, click here to watch it on YouTube
  • Watch a longer video (just over 5 minutes) about how to properly store a mask so you can use it again.
    If you don't see the video in the box, click here to watch it on YouTube.
  • Watch a 30-second video promoting use of face coverings
    Masks are Gorges, sponsored by the City of Ithaca, Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, the Health Department, and others
    If you don't see the video in the box, click here to watch it on YouTube.
  • Image of a flyer about how to wear a face covering. NYSDOH
  • How my mask protects you, and your mask protects me. Click here to open a letter-size PDF in a new tab. Or click the image for a larger image.
    Image of a Poster showing how wearing a mask reduces COVID spread

How to make your own cloth face covering
References and Resources

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Signage for outdoor recreation areas


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Additional Prevention Measures

Image of the PDF poster you can download

Infection Prevention Measures On the Jobsite
  • Standard workplace guidance applies, such as stay home if sick, wash hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, practice social distancing.
  • Additional measures include reduce crew size to the extent possible while maintaining safety, minimize ride sharing, avoid sharing tools, clean and disinfect frequently all frequently touched surfaces, minimize dust and airborne contaminants, use proper PPE.
  • Click here to download a posting sign with this information (letter-size PDF, 148KB).


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