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Bloomington Stores Seeing Shortage Of Medical Masks

doctors instruments

(Lauren Chapman)

Multiple health stores around Bloomington are sold out of medical face masks in the wake of the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Williams Brothers Health Care Pharmacy has been out of the medical masks for several weeks, along with several local CVS Pharmacy locations. 

Williams Brothers Pharmacy manager Leilani Hirasuna says most people buying the masks are sending them overseas.

“I have someone asking me about the masks every other day,” she says. “I can see people wear them because they are trying to protect themselves from sneezing or coughing.”

The World Health Organization released a two-page interim guide about the use of masks as a means of protection against coronavirus. It includes general advice on usage and disposal.

The document says the route of human-to-human transmission of coronavirus is either via respiratory droplets or direct contact, and contact with sneezing and coughing from a person with symptoms is a risk for ingesting infective droplets.

WHO says that while medical masks are effective, they are not to be relied on as the sole protection against coronavirus. It says that the masks should be used along with other methods, such as handwashing and staying away from infected persons.

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