Masks may offer benefit in slowing coronavirus spread |

Masks may offer benefit in slowing coronavirus spread

Record-Courier Associate Publisher Tara Addeo models an N-95 mask, the latest in personal protective equipment. Kurt Hildebrand photo

Health officials are beginning to change their tune on the benefits of wearing masks.

On Thursday, Alpine County Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson said cloth face coverings could help protect people who must leave their homes to conduct essential travel to medical appointments, grocery shopping or pharmacy visits.

“The guidance does not require people to wear face coverings — and is not a substitute for our current guidance regarding social distancing and hand-washing, which are the most effective ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “Wearing a cloth face covering can potentially provide some additional benefit by acting as a reminder for other people to keep their distance, and it oculd help reduce the spread of infectious particles from those who could be infected but don’t have symptoms.”

Johnson said face coverings could increase the risk if wearers aren’t also washing their hands and keep a distance.

Carson City public health officials announced the first recovery in the coronavirus outbreak while listing a new case.

He said coverings need not be hospital grade, but need to cover the noes and mouth.

“Ideally, they should be 100 percent cotton and at least 2 ply,” he said. “However, bandanas and neck gaiters are acceptable.”

A Carson man in his 80s became the ninth case in the Capital. 

The man is self-isolating and is in stable condition.

There have been 17 cases in Carson, Douglas, Lyon and Storey since the first one was announced on March 12. There have been no reports of deaths.

As of Thursday morning, there have been three-dozen deaths statewide with 1,458 testing positive for the virus. According to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, 14,046 people have been tested.