Everything you need to Know about Wearing a Face Covering
It is mandatory to wear face masks or coverings in spaces such as supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, transport hubs, banks and takeaways.
For those who do not adhere to the rules, police can now hand out £100 however, some retailers have said that they themselves will not enforce the rule.
Experts have already stated that wearing a face mask can prevent the spread of COVID-19. An experiment by the New England Journal of Medicine states that hundreds of droplets, ranging from 20 to 500 micrometers are formed when saying a basic phrase. The test was to prove that a covering over the mouth is an effective way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, like we have seen with previous epidemics such as SARS, H1N1 and MERS.
There has been a shortage in surgical masks to the general public as there has been an attempt to keep these for the medical professionals working in high-risk environments. Therefore many people have been getting crafty and creating their own face masks.
How effective are homemade face coverings, and are they suitable to wear in public? The answer is, yes. They are effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus via particles in the air and provide protection to the wearer and those around them.
In Oxford’s latest report featuring Professor Mills states that “The general public does not need to wear surgical masks or respirators. We find that masks made from high quality material such as high-grade cotton, multiple layers and particularly hybrid constructions are effective”.
She also explains that it is important that people are aware of virus transmission and how masks not only protect themselves but others too. There is also a level of trust here and multiple socio-behavioural factors coming into play. It is important to understand that anyone can catch this virus and that it is a horrible disease - you should wear a mask to protect yourself as much as it protects others.
It is essential that now face coverings are required to wear, they must be worn suitably and properly. This involves:
- Wearing a tight fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth
- Not touching or readjusting the mask with your hands
- Not taking it off to speak
- Not sharing a mask
- Touching other people's masks
- Do wash your hands before and after wearing a mask
- You can wear reusable face masks as long as they are disinfected in soap and hot water at least once a day
- Still continue to practise social distancing
Overall, stay updated and aware of current rules rolled out by the government. Ensure you are still practising social distancing and that you are now wearing a face covering when necessary and if you can. Be mindful of others and consider your actions when going outside.
Zoom enters the healthcare market - a timeline
Since the pandemic began Zoom has become an integral part of daily life for people working from home, as well as a vital tool for families and friends to communicate. However it's also been eyeing up the healthcare space since 2017, and following the boom in telehealth the company has been rolling out additional services. Here we chart Zoom's move into healthcare.
2011 - 2013
Zoom is founded in San Jose, California, by Eric Yuan, formerly of Cisco. He got the idea to create a video calling platform from his visits to his girlfriend while he was a student, which would take 10 hours by train.
A beta version is released in 2012, which can host up to 15 participants. In 2013 this rises to 25. By mid-2013, Zoom has 1 million users.
2014 - 2017
Zoom attracts investors, including Sequoia Capital, Emergence and Horizon Ventures. By January 2017, Zoom has a series D funding worth $100 million.
2017 - 2019
Zoom for Telehealth launches, including an integration with EHR system Epic. It has cloud-based video, audio, and content sharing features, a "waiting room" for patients, and can easily be integrated into healthcare provider's workflows.
In 2019 Zoom goes public, with its IPO rising 72% in one day.
As a result of the pandemic, Zoom gains 2.2 million new users, more than in the whole of 2019. On the 23rd of March alone - the day the UK lockdown was announced - the platform was downloaded 2.13 million times around the world.
Share prices rise to around $150, and founder and chief executive Eric Yuan becomes one of the world's richest people, with an estimated net worth of $7.9 billion.
Early security issues are addressed by encrypting data with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). By now the the platform allows 99 people to be on a call simultaneously
New features launch, including Zoom Home and Zoom for Chats. Throughout the year the platform is used to replace most kinds of real life events: work meetings, online classrooms, church services and social events.
Renamed Zoom for Healthcare, users can share secured video, audio, and content through desktops, mobile phones, and conference devices. As well as Epic, it can be integrated with Strmr, IntakeQ, and Practice Better.
It can also be used with diagnostic cameras and other point-of-care devices, including digital stethoscopes.
In an interview with Korea Biomedical Review, Zoom Global Healthcare Lead Ron Emerson said: "Our service is not simply a virtual care and telemedicine platform but a multi-purpose platform that can satisfy the needs of healthcare institutions."
"It can be used for administrative tasks, including telemedicine, medical team meetings, recruitment, medical education, employee training, and disease prevention. Analysing electronic records managed by Zoom could provide meaningful insights into patient care."
Phoenix Children's Hospital, Belfast's Hospital Services Limited, Butler Health Services and the global Project ECHO are among Zoom for Healthcare's current customers.