We know that this community and our neighboring communities are working very hard to slow the spread of COVID-19. We all meet together regularly and safely. We are coordinating our response.
But, we cannot ignore the reality that our cases are likely to move up and down for the foreseeable future. We have to be prepared for this new normal, even though there’s nothing normal about it. We have to be prepared to work at this until there is a vaccine or treatment identified for this disease.
The good news is that we can slow the spread and we can safely and responsibly reclaim community. The current state of affairs only requires each of us to keep working. We have slowed the spread once.
We have to continue to work at this. We know about how the virus is spread and what each of us can do to slow the spread down. Masking up can work.
We have evidence that our community’s mask usage is moving in the right direction. Data collected by University of Memphis School of Public Health shows that mask usage has greatly increased after the mask requirements in Shelby County took effect. Prior to the requirements, overall mask usage was 51%. With the mask requirements in place, some measures showed overall usage at over 90%. Mask usage increased among all age groups with the highest use among older adults.
Our efforts are working, but we should not let up. Researchers observed too many people in public spaces wearing masks incorrectly by not covering the nose and mouth.
We need everyone to embrace this new normal. Please remember to social distance, wash your hands frequently, and mask up. Please remember that masks are most effective when worn correctly over the mouth and nose.
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