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Correct Mask Wearing
To truly provide a protective barrier, masks must fit snugly over both the mouth and nose. Try this DIY Candle Test to evaluate the effectiveness of your mask. While wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose attempt to blow out a candle.  If you cannot blow out the candle, your mask is relatively effective. If you can blow out the candle while wearing a mask, you are wearing an inadequate mask. It is advisable to obtain a higher quality mask, fortify your mask by adding additional layers, and/ or improve your fit. Another helpful modification is to insert a noseband which will help you achieve a closer fit and will prevent the mask from sliding down your nose. Additional measures to improve your mask include adding a filter pocket into which you can insert a filter. Different types of filters include but are not limited to: HEPA filters, coffee filters, and activated charcoal PM 2.5 filters.
 
Handwashing
Before and after handling your mask wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or sanitize your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. When you are going to remove your mask from your face, grasp the mask by the ear loops or ties and avoid touching the front of your mask. Store the mask on a paper napkin/towel while you dine. Avoid placing the mask directly on top of the table where you are dining. 
Remember, do not use hand sanitizers that contain the active ingredient methanol (toxic). Washing our hands frequently, not just when touching our masks, is important. Wash your hands before handling your mask, eating, or touching your face. If your hands become very dry from frequent washing and sanitizing apply a moisturizing cream or lotion at night before bed to restore them and prevent cracking. 
 
Social Distancing
The CDC defines social distancing as staying at least 6 feet away from other people who are not from your household whether you are indoors or outdoors.  Social distancing is an important behavior in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. It is well established that coronavirus spreads through close contact between people for a prolonged amount of time.  Since people may be infected with COVID-19 but remain asymptomatic it is important to maintain social distancing when interacting with people outside of your household. 
 
Flu Season
In order to avoid what health experts are calling a “twindemic,” it is strongly recommended to receive the flu shot this fall. The flu shares symptoms with COVID-19 such as fever, tiredness, cough and sore throat which may complicate diagnosis. It is possible that contracting the flu may make persons more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.  Furthermore, there is concern in the medical community that contracting both the flu and COVID-19 viruses simultaneously could be devastating.
 
Free Testing Sites
Walk-up: Boulevard Heights Community Center: 6770 Garfield Street, Hollywood
Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Anyone can be tested regardless of age or symptoms
 
Drive-thru: CB Smith Park 900 N Flamingo Road, Pembroke Pines
Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 
Saturday, Sunday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Must schedule an appointment and register by calling: 954-276-4680
Any resident of South Florida can be tested regardless of age or symptoms. If multiple people are in one car, each individual must register to be tested.
For additional test sites and information: www. Floridahealthcovid19.gov
Katherine Carrera, A.P.R.N.
Director of Wellness Center