Local health officials say wearing a mask in public is voluntary

Coronavirus

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Shawnee County health officials said wearing a mask in public is voluntary.

Linda Ochs from the Health Department said masks are helpful in large cities that have a lot of community-based spread of the coronavirus. She said that’s not the case in Shawnee County.

Ochs said masks will not protect you from getting sick and are not a replacement for social distancing and hand washing.

“Face masks can help you from giving it to someone else. It’s not necessarily going to protect you from getting it, but if you have it and maybe you are asymptomatic, it may help stop you from spreading it to somewhere else,” Ochs said.

If you do chose to wear a mask, she said to use a homemade mask or bandana.

She said surgical masks and N-95 respirators need to be saved for healthcare providers.

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