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San Juan Basin Public Health issued a face covering advisory for La Plata and Archuleta counties, starting Saturday.
The health department issued the advisory to slow the spread of COVID-19. La Plata County reported 43 cases Saturday; Archuleta, 6. Both counties continue to see community transmission of the disease.
“Without a vaccine or treatment, additional social distancing measures are necessary,” the department said in a news release.
Gov. Jared Polis recommended all Coloradans begin wearing masks to prevent further spread of the coronavirus on April 3. Then, the number of people killed by the disease was at least 112. The state reported 274 deaths Saturday.
April 1, SJBPH issued a face covering guideline, but the advisory is an even stronger recommendation.
The health department recommended residents cover their nose and mouth with a bandanna or homemade cotton covering when leaving the home for essential travel.
Covering your nose and mouth can slow the spread of COVID-19, the release said. Individuals can be contagious before the onset of symptoms, so they could spread the disease unknowingly. People typically touch their faces less when it is covered.
“Touching your face after touching something contaminated with COVID-19 increases your chances of getting sick with the virus,” the release said.
SJBPH said the advisory was particularly important for essential workers, such as grocery and restaurant employees, when they are regularly interacting with the public.
The advisory also applies to anyone who leaves their home to meet essential needs.
For the most up-to-date information about how to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19, visit SJBPH’s website.