ASL Masks and Social Distancing - Austin/Travis County

Hi, I'm Dr. Mark Escott. I'm the Interim Health Authority for Austin Public Health.

I want to talk today about the recommendation that I made yesterday to wear cloth face coverings out in public to help further stop the spread of this disease.

There's a few important points to remember, number one - that cloth face coverings are fine. They can be manufactured masks such as this, or masks that are similar that you make at home. It can be a scarf, that's used to cover the nose and the mouth that will also help in preventing the spread of this disease.

It's critical that if folks have surgical masks or N95 masks at home, they share those through Austin Disaster Relief Network so that we can get those to our frontline healthcare workers and first responders so that we can keep them safe so they can take care of us.

The final thing that I want to talk about is the importance of using face coverings combined with social distancing. We have good evidence that if you use face coverings alone, it doesn't work. In fact, it may promote the spread of disease. It's got to be used combined with that six feet of distance between one another to really be most effective.

We appreciate your engagement in this and together we can flatten the curve.