Medical expert says ‘we could have another spike’ of coronavirus if people don’t wear masks

ATLANTA — As more and more places begin to reopen, you may see some people wearing masks while others aren’t.

Gov. Brian Kemp has urged all Georgians to wear face coverings while out in public.

Channel 2 anchor Jovita Moore spoke with Dr. Marybeth Sexton, an assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine, who said face masks are incredibly important in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“A large part of wearing a mask is that the mask you're wearing protects other people, and the masks that other people are wearing protect you,” Sexton said. “The idea behind that is if you happened to be coming down with COVID and you didn’t know it yet, or you had no symptoms despite being contagious, if you’re wearing a mask you won’t breathe or talk or cough out those infectious droplets into the environment around you. And the same thing is true of the other people who you’re close to.”

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With Georgia lifting the shelter-in-place order on Friday, the nice weather, the Blue Angels flying over the city and people just getting out and about, it was clear many people were not wearing face masks. Moore asked Sexton, from a doctor’s perspective, what her feelings were about people not wearing face coverings.

“I was worried, because I think that we definitely still do have cases of COVID in the local community. We know that a relatively large number of people are contagious and aren’t symptomatic, sometimes throughout their whole illness, sometimes just at the beginning,” Sexton said. “So if you have a lot of people together and people aren’t taking some of those precautions about staying 6 feet apart, wearing masks, washing their hands, we could have another spike in cases.”

“What is the proper way to wear a mask? Because I think that’s what we’re also seeing, some people kind of have them on, kind of don’t,” Moore asked Sexton.

“We see some creativity,” Sexton said. “They should be over your nose and your mouth, and you don’t want to ever pull it down and let it rest on your chin or pull it up on top of your head, because you contaminate your whole face that way. So, it should either be on correctly or off. And anytime you put it on or take it off, you should wash your hands before and after you do that, so you don’t get anything on your hands.”

To read more about the guidelines for wearing masks and how to make one at home, CLICK HERE.