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Audrain County Health Department Issues Countywide Mask Advisory

The Audrain County Health Department is issuing a mask advisory after noticing a spike of 50 positive COVID-19 cases in one week. Craig Brace of the Audrain County Health Department said the mask advisory is not a mandate; it is a reminder of how masks can help slow the spread of the virus.

“We wanted to be proactive and issue a mask advisory — an official capacity from the county health department reminding our county residents how effective masks can be,” he said. “It’s about renewing a commitment with the county in wearing a mask.”

Mask mandates are official health orders, which county residents must follow. This advisory, however, is a reminder for others to wear a mask. Brace said he has heard from county residents, community leaders and business owners who were glad to see the health department issue this advisory.

“It can slow the surge of cases that we’re actually seeing in our own county,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website says you should wear masks in public settings, particularly when unable to social distance with people outside of your household.

As we approach a holiday season that calls for social gatherings, Brace said now is a time to stay focused and protect ourselves, our family and our community. The CDC recommends limiting the number of people at these holiday gatherings, hosting outdoor or heavily ventilated events and requiring guests to wear masks.

“It’ll be important for families to be very diligent in the coming weeks as we gather for holidays, especially as college students return home,” he said. “Having protocols in place to mitigate and manage spreading the virus will be important, too.”