Based on growing evidence on how to slow the spread of COVID-19, CDC and WHO recommend wearing a mask to cover your nose and mouth when away from home. This is to protect people around you if you have the virus, even if you do not have symptoms.
When you do have to go out in public for an essential errand, cover your nose and mouth with a homemade mask. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing your face covering and wash your hands immediately after removing.
WHO recommends medical masks for health workers, people with COVID-19 symptoms, caregivers, people aged 60 or over, and people with underlying health conditions. Cloth face coverings can be made at home from common materials at low cost, like old T-shirts, scarves or bandanas.
Support the campaign
Celebrities from across the world are joining forces to show their support for this campaign and reminding everyone that when you cover your face when you have to go out in public, you are protecting those around you. You are #MaskingForAFriend!
You can make a difference!
Join the movement by reminding your friends that covering your face when you have to go out in public protects those around you. Share a selfie image or video of you wearing a cloth face covering during essential errands or making masks using the hashtag #MaskingForAFriend.
Top tips for your social media posts
DO exercise social distancing in your photo or video (a distance of 6 feet or more between you and others)
DO emphasize the need to continue following previously outlined recommended guidelines (especially social distancing and sheltering in place)
DO NOT capture images or video wearing the mask doing a non-essential task at home or hanging out with friends (as this can send the wrong message)
DO NOT stand closer than 6 feet to any individual when performing an essential task in the photo or video
DO NOT use a medical mask, as we want to encourage people to preserve those for healthcare professionals, people with COVID-19 symptoms, caregivers, people aged 60 or over, and people with underlying health conditions
In South Africa food shortages and the inability to enact physical distancing is exacerbating COVID-19 response challenges. Official public health messages and recommendations are not always being received by the people who need them the most.