Public Health Recommends Mask Use in Indoor Public SpacesMay 26, 2022 12:45PM ● By Editor
Both Cook County Public Health and Grand Portage Health Services note that we are currently seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases locally, with 40 cases reported in the past seven days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to note that there is a medium level of COVID-19 in Cook County, however, based on the number of over-the-counter positive tests reported locally this past week, the level of COVID-19 would be more accurately defined as “high.” When there is a high level of COVID-19 spreading in the community, masks are recommended in all indoor public spaces.
“With this amount of COVID-19 spreading in our local communities, there is a strong chance that a person will be exposed to this virus while attending an indoor event,” stated Grace Grinager, the Public Health Supervisor for Cook County. “It is important for people to be aware of this so that they can make more informed decisions about how to plan their activities and daily lives.”
There are several practical steps that people can take to reduce their risk of becoming ill or exposing others to COVID-19 at an event or gathering:
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations: Staying up-to-date on vaccinations lowers the chance of becoming severely ill, hospitalized, or dying due to COVID-19. People who are up-to-date on vaccinations are also less likely to become infected with COVID-19 and tend to recover more quickly from the virus than those who are not up-to-date with vaccinations. Local vaccination events are posted online at http://cookcountycovid19.org.
- Stay home when you are sick: While people are contagious two days before showing symptoms of COVID-19, staying home when sick still makes a big difference in slowing the spread of the virus. Even if you test negative for COVID-19, you should stay home if you are actively sick to avoid spreading other illnesses.
- Wear a high-quality (KN-95/N-95), well-fitting mask while at indoor events: Free masks are available at Clearview General Store, the Cook County Community Center, the entrance to the Cook County Courthouse, the Grand Marais Library, Grand Portage Health Services, Lockport Market, North Shore Health greeter station, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Pharmacy, and Trail Center.
- Consider taking an at-home rapid antigen test immediately before attending a large event and 5 days after the event is over: Free at-home tests are available at Clearview General Store, Grand Portage Health Services, Lockport Market, North Shore Health greeter station, and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Pharmacy. Families can also order four free test kits through the Minnesota Department of Health (https://mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/at-home/index.jsp) or up to eight test kits through the federal government (https://www.covid.gov/tests) or by calling 1-800-232-0233.
Cook County Public Health Supervisor