Board of Health Launches Mask Up Reading! Campaign

Reading, MA — The Reading Public Health Department is reaching out to residents as COVID-19 cases continue to surge around the Commonwealth. The Town of Reading has remained in the lower risk category for COVID-19 due to your adherence to the guidelines of the CDC, State, and local Board of Health. We thank you for your sustained efforts to protect yourselves and your neighbors from transmission of the virus. However, we are starting to see a concerning increase in Reading COVID-19 cases and we encourage continued mindfulness and vigilance, especially as we head into the holiday season. Working together we can help stop the spread.

This week the town launched an awareness campaign, aligned with state efforts, called “Mask Up Reading!” This campaign is similar to the incredibly successful Safe Voting 2020 campaign, which enabled voters to participate in the local and state elections safely – from voting in person to mailing in ballots, Mask Up Reading! aims to help keep community awareness high, provide guidance on a continual basis, and render aid as needed. Notifications will appear on the website, social media pages, SeeClickFix City notices, email notices, and on signs across town.

We recognize that residents are bombarded with information, especially as regulations change at the state level, so we are keeping resources for residents cataloged on the town website. Click here for several pages of current status, guidance, tips, location of testing sites, and more. These pages are updated weekly and sent to our e-subscribers.

We ask that residents take time to:

  • Wear a mask or face covering whenever you are not at home or in your personal vehicle.
  • Maintain social distancing, at least 6’ from others.
  • Observe the State’s Stay-at-Home Advisory from 10PM – 5AM.
  • Review the latest CDC Guidance (below).
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Talk about Covid precautions with household members, neighbors, friends, and colleagues.
  • Stay home when you are experiencing symptoms.
  • Don’t hesitate to get a COVID-19 test (click here for testing sites).

Stop the Spread

According to the CDC the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person contact:
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
    • Because these droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. 
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Things you can do to protect yourself and others:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact
    • Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
    • Inside your home 
      • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      • If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
  • Everyone should wear a mask or face covering in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected, and also helps minimize the risk of droplets from another person reaching you.
    • The mask is not a substitute for social distancing. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. 
    • Even if you do not feel sick, you could spread COVID-19 to others.
    • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Do not spit.
  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID may be mild; if you are not feeling well, be safe and stay home until you are better.  This monitoring is especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.

For the latest news, case counts, and lab testing results, visit the state’s COVID-19 website at Residents can also call 2-1-1 with questions, or text the keyword COVIDMA to 888-777 to receive notifications via their smartphone.

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