A Message from Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis

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A message from Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis, with recent change to the statewide stay-at-home order requires everyone to wear a face covering in certain situations to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings are required any time you’re inside a public building, like a grocery store, and anytime you can’t keep six feet between yourself and others, even outdoors.

This Requirement Went into Effect on May 1

As first responders, we know the importance of using personal protective equipment, or PPE, like masks and face coverings. Our staff have been wearing masks when responding to calls since early March to protect themselves and others from the new coronavirus.

Using PPE is a simple and effective way to slow the spread of a virus.

But we understand that not everyone is as comfortable with PPE as we are at the fire department.

Face Mask Basics:

First, don’t put a face covering on children under 2, on anyone who has trouble breathing, or on anyone who’s unconscious or can’t remove it them self.

  • Face masks like this N95 mask are traditionally used by health care workers and first responders that are regularly coming into direct contact with people who are sick.
  • Masks like this aren’t necessary to comply with the state order and should be reserved for those front line workers.
  • Surgical masks like this will work well to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and so will cloth face coverings.
  • Cloth face coverings can be made from things you probably already have at home, like a bandana, t-shirt, or a scarf. The CDC’s website is a great resource to visit if you need help making a face covering.
  • When putting your face covering on, first make sure your hands are clean and then place it over your mouth and nose, covering both completely.

When you take your face covering off, wash or sanitize your hands first and then make sure the covering doesn’t touch clean parts of your face. You can do this by pulling the covering away and not across or up your face.

  • A face covering can be reused, but make sure you replace or wash it when it gets dirty.
  • Putting it in a bag when you’re not wearing it will help keep it clean too.
  • Remember, wearing a face covering does not mean that you can stop using other precautions.
  • Continue to practice social distancing. Cough and sneeze into your elbow. Wash your hands well and often. Stay home when you’re sick. And regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces.

We need to use all the tools available to us to continue the progress we’ve already made to slow the spread of COVID-19.


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