Around 1,000 masks have now been made and most people in Assynt should have received theirs by now.
This is one of the activities being managed by Assynt Resilience Group.  It is aimed to provide face masks for all Assynt residents.  From evidence being gathered, there is a consensus building that wearing face masks in enclosed spaces such as shops and on public transport helps to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
To provide face masks to all Assynt residents it was decided to ask local craft makers to make washable cotton face masks.  We have been working with around 14 local craft makers, some of whom have donated their time, while much of the material has also been donated.  The cost of buying material and making an Assynt face mask has worked out at around £4 a mask.
For information as to who to contact in your area to obtain a mask, if you haven’t yet received yours, please email:
Advice on wearing washable cotton face masks is available on You Tube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqLnDhHSJDU.
If you wish to donate towards the cost of your mask, it is requested that you make any donation payment online (to reduce risk of virus spreading by handling cash) to:
Assynt Development Trust Limited, RBS Ullapool, Sort Code 83-24-28 Account Number 00154218 .
If you wish to Gift Aid your donation (as your donation goes 25% further) please email assyntresiliencegroup@gmail.com and we will send you the form.
(Donations will be treated as funds of Assynt Resilience Group, for which Assynt Development Trust are acting as financial partner, receiving and distributing the Scottish Government’s grant for the project.  As such, they will be ringfenced for Assynt Resilience Group work in responding to local issues arising from Covid-19 and the lockdown.)
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Scottish Government advice on face mask use in shops and on public transport published on 11th May 2020
Scottish Government Guidance on the personal use of face coverings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Use of face coverings
Questions have been asked about the use of facial coverings and we address that here. Physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene, are the most important and effective measures we can all adopt to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Therefore the wearing of facial coverings must not be used as an alternative to any of these other precautions. The evidence on the use of face coverings is limited, but there may be some benefit in wearing a facial covering when you leave the house and enter enclosed spaces, especially where physical distancing is more difficult and where there is a risk of close contact with multiple people you do not usually meet. Examples include, traveling on public transport or entering a food shop where it is not always possible to maintain a 2 metre distance from another customer. There is no evidence to suggest there might be a benefit outdoors, unless in an unavoidable crowded situation, where there may be some benefit.
As some people can have the virus but experience no symptoms (asymptomatic infection), wearing a face covering in the situations outlined above may provide some level of protection against transmission to other people in close proximity. However, it remains the case that anyone with symptoms and all members of their household (whether they have symptoms or not), must self-isolate and adhere to the guidance on individual and household isolation on NHS Inform. By face coverings we do not mean the wearing of a surgical or other medical grade mask but a facial covering of the mouth and nose, that is made of cloth or other textiles and through which you can breathe, for example a scarf.
When applying or removing the covering, it is important that you wash your hands first and avoid touching your face. After each use, you must wash the face covering at 60 degrees centigrade or dispose of safely. Face coverings should not be used for children under the age of two years. We are recommending that you consider using face coverings in the limited circumstances described above as a precautionary measure. Given that the evidence of impact on transmission is relatively weak, the public use of facial coverings is not being made mandatory and will not be enforced at this stage. However, we will keep this guidance under ongoing review as we consider any easing of lockdown restrictions in the weeks ahead.