AUGUSTA — The wearing of face masks was a topic of discussion in Monday’s Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention briefing.
According to Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah, wearing masks in public is the easiest way people can do their part to get through the pandemic.
“We’re all, all of us, looking for ways to return to normalcy. Although frankly I‘m not sure what normalcy might look like, one of the ways we can usher that process along is by making more widespread use of face coverings,” Shah said.
He said the reason for face coverings isn’t to shame or punish those who don’t wear them, but it’s to avoid the equivalent of a COVID crash on our human highways.
“There are a number of recent publications that makes a strong compelling case for widespread use of face coverings as a way to reduce of transmission of COVID-19,” Shah said. He went on to say, “I lower my risk to you when I wear a face covering, you lower your risk to me when you do the same. As a result, all of us are safer.”
Shah said the Maine CDC is still receiving reports of people and businesses that are not following proposed guidelines, which include a limit on the number of people in a social gathering, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks in public.
And soon, Shah said, Gov. Janet Mills will be releasing a face covering or mask mandate.
“I know that the governor’s office is working on that. I expect it to be out there very soon. The governor’s office would have the exact timeline by my understanding is very soon,” he said.
He did not specify what exactly the mandate will entail.