Vial Infection

Jon Quinn (TheLorian)

Dubuque County vaccinations are underway. There have been just about 10,000 people in the Dubuque County who has received their first dose of vaccinations, estimating about 500 people a day. As for the second dose vaccinations, just over 5,000 people have received their second dose, estimating 400 people a day.

These vaccination numbers come in as there are just under 300 reported positive COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks in Dubuque County. The total confirmed cases to date is 12,110. An estimated 750 cases are currently active in the Dubuque community.

In addition to the local Dubuque County numbers, the CDC updated their mask guidance on cdc.gov. Updates include general principles for mask use which include the following: masks should completely cover the nose and mouth, fit snugly against the sides of the face and not have any gaps, and be handled only by the ear loops, cords, or head straps (not by the surface of the mask).

“Correct and consistent mask use is a critical step everyone can take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading COVID-19,” said the CDC in a press release to the public. “Masks work best when everyone wears them, but not all masks provide the same protection.”

According to the CDC, masks should be worn any time you are in a public setting. This includes traveling on a form of public transportation like planes, buses, and trains. It is also important to wear masks when you are around people who do not live with you, whether you are in their home or vice versa.

Layering masks is a good way to reduce the number of respiratory droplets that could be containing the virus. According to the CDC one way to double-mask is to wear a medical procedure mask underneath a cloth mask. A recent study conducted in a laboratory found that this double-mask combination provided much better protection to the wearer and to others as compared with a cloth mask by itself or a medical procedure mask by itself.

“However, there are some mask combinations that should not be used to double mask,” said the CDC. “Do not combine two medical procedure masks to create a double mask.”

Medical masks are not designed to fit tightly and wearing a second medical mask on top of the first one does not help to improve the fit. Some things to watch out for when attempting to improve mask fit and filtration is to make sure breathing is not difficult. Be sure your vision is not obstructed and take the time to try it at home first before trying it in a ‘not completely safe’ environment.

The CDC has more information on different things to look out for with different masks on CDC.gov. They include the pros and cons of cloth masks, medical procedure masks, KN95 masks (also known as KN95 respirators). Tips to improve fit and filtration are further explain on the CDC website.

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Jon is currently a junior who is double-majoring in Media Studies and Public Relations. He is heavily involved at Loras as a campus photographer, residential adviser, and a sports editor for the school newspaper, The Lorian.

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