EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan State Medical Society said today it supports people using cloth or "homemade" masks in public during the coronavirus outbreak.
The society of more than 15,000 doctors released a statement by its president, Dr. Mohammed Arsiwala, in support of the masks:
“While it should in no way supplant diligent hand washing and social distancing practices, Michigan’s physician community does support the use of cloth or handmade masks while in public as an added precaution in protecting others from COVID-19," Arsiwala said.
“With that said, we ask that the general public continue to refrain from purchasing N95 respirators and surgical masks. With supplies already severely strained, it’s critical this kind of equipment is reserved for the physicians and health care workers on the front lines providing care to Michigan’s patients.
"For members of the general public who are being vigilant about social distancing and frequent hand washing, a homemade cloth mask is certainly an appropriate added layer of protection.”
“If you do choose to wear a mask, please be sure to follow best practices: wash your hands with soap and water before putting on a mask; completely cover your mouth and nose, ensuring there are no gaps between your face and the mask; avoid touching your face while wearing the mask; and finally, clean your hands with soap and water after removing the mask."