Metro health experts urge people to wear masks, but not gloves, while shopping

ATLANTA — Local health experts are sharing important information about how to protect yourself and your family from the coronavirus.

They're also stepping up the call for everyone to wear masks.

Health experts at Emory University Hospital told Channel 2’s Tom Regan that they’re not talking about medical grade masks.

They said cloth or fabric masks will help.

Linda Anderson told Regan that walking with her mask has become a daily ritual.

“I try not to get too close, that's all,” Anderson said.

As the coronavirus pandemic nears a peak in Georgia and other states and cities, health officials say wearing a mask should be standard attire, especially in public spaces.

“So, you wearing one keeps other people safe and if everyone wears one, that protects you. So this is a big community effort to keep everyone safe," said Dr. Marybeth Sexton, an infection disease physician at Emory University Hospital.

Sexton says whenever possible, avoid going out shopping and instead chose home delivery. Also, she said don't worry about the risk of infection from what you get.

“You should wash your hands after handling packages or anything that comes in. But the odds of someone sneezing on the package that you received is astonishingly low," Sexton said.

Although she favors the use of masks, even simple ones, gloves aren’t necessary. She warns that if you’re wearing gloves while you’re out and about, you may be unknowingly spreading the virus.

“Gloves seem to give people a false sense of security that they seem protect, but they don't realize they have touched everything around,” Sexton said.

Sexton said if you develop symptoms of the virus that may not be serious enough to go the hospital, you should try to self-quarantine.

“The safest thing to do is not go out. As much as possible, isolate yourself from everyone else who lives in your home,” Sexton said.

The doctor said if you start having chest pains or shortness of breath, you need to call for help.

“That’s the time to seek medical attention,” Sexton said.