Insider News: Making masks and forging connections
This week we're sharing new recommendations from the CDC around wearing cloth face coverings in public, including instructions for making your own. We also have some positive news about a new N95 mask decontamination center located in Somerville and a report showing that Americans still feel connected to their friends and family despite the COVID-19 crisis.
New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. These measures can help limit transmission of COVID-19 in people who may not know they have the virus, and slow community spread.
The CDC has also provided instructions for how to make your own face covering by sewing cloth or using a T-shirt or bandanna.
Together with Battelle, a nonprofit science and technology company, Partners HealthCare is bringing a decontamination system designed to sterilize 80,000 N95 masks per day to Somerville.
The technology is located near Partners HealthCare's Assembly Row campus, and was installed on April 6. It is the fourth system of its kind nationwide and has been called "a significant win for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts" by Marylou Sudders, Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services. This technology, combined with the over 1 million N95 masks recently secured by the state, comes just as coronavirus cases are expected to surge.
In a recent Gallup survey, a majority of Americans say they do not yet feel out of touch with friends and family. According to the survey, 54% say they experienced no change in connectedness and 18% feel more connected, with only 28% saying they are now less connected.
The survey also noted differences in opinion between age groups and genders. Young Americans age 18-34 were more likely to say they feel less connected. Women were also more likely to say they experienced a change, either positive or negative, and more men reported no difference.