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LETTER TO THE EDITOR Wear a mask
2020-09-02

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Dear editor:

Wear a mask.

Illinois made great strides fighting COVID-19, but it will take sustained effort and discipline to keep the virus under control.

Illinois doctors are asking everyone to take two simple actions when in public: always wear a face covering and continue to maintain social distancing.

The recent uptick in coronavirus diagnoses should give us all pause. We all want to return to normal, but in the near term "normal."includes wearing a mask that completely covers your nose and mouth.

Wearing a mask is important even if you don't feel sick. Many individuals infected with COVID-19 do not display any symptoms. That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging everyone to wear a mask while in public.

The CDC cites growing research supporting the use of masks to prevent COVID-19 transmission. One study used contract tracing to track client interactions when it was discovered two Missouri hairstylists tested positive for the virus. Both stylists had consistently worn masks while seeing clients in the days prior to their diagnosis, and none of their clients contracted the virus. Based on the results of the contact tracing, the CDC believes that active mask use by the stylists and their clients was a critical factor in blocking the transmission of the virus.

We can do this, but we must commit to doing it together.

Robert W. Panton, M.D.

President, Illinois State Medical Society


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