City of Stillwater strongly encourages face coverings

New call for face mask donations: This time for the community at large

Media Release

To reduce the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the City of Stillwater is strongly encouraging the CDC’s recommendation that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores, retail establishments, pharmacies). This recommendation could be made mandatory if circumstances warrant. 

According to Emergency Management Director Rob Hill, “It is critical to emphasize that maintaining six-feet physical distancing remains important to slow the spread of the virus; however, the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.”

“We know that finding a suitable face covering may be difficult for some people,” Hill said. “So the City is again asking that those who can sew if they will make masks for the public at large. The response for call for masks has been awesome, and everyone is appreciative of the donations.”

Donations may be dropped off at the Stillwater Police Department lobby, 723 S. Lewis St. The City is needing both adult and child-size masks.

Directions for pick-up will be posted on the City’s website at at a later date.

What works as a face covering

According to Hill, acceptable face coverings include R95, P95, dust masks, procedural masks, cotton bandanas, neck gaiters, running buffs and some tightly woven scarves. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should be at least two-ply of tightly-woven fabric like cotton. It should cover the bridge of the nose, mouth, chin and side-to-side of the face. There are local businesses selling cloth masks and websites that have instructions for no-sew mask and how to sew one.

Surgical masks or N-95 respirators are not recommend for the general public. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Why a face covering is needed: Asymptomatic individuals

The CDC cited a recent study that stated a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. 

This means that the virus can spread between people interacting nearby—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.  

“This pandemic is deadly. We are doing what we can to protect everyone,” Hill said. “Actions like this provide critical protection for everyone, including the employees and their families who are providing services that Stillwater residents depend on.”

How to make Links to face coverings with instructions

Questions may be directed to the Department of Marketing and Civic Engagement at 405.742.8362 or email [email protected].