On Saturday, April 18th, 2020, the Ministry of Health released a communication with precautionary advice on the use of cloth masks and a warning for use with children. The full release reads as follows:
“CLOTH MASKS INSTRUCTIONS AND WARNING FOR CHILDREN – Update #45
According to the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No. 2) (Amendment), every person who leaves their residence must wear a mask covering the nose and mouth while away from their residence.
This precaution can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Therefore, the Ministry of Health advises that cloth face masks fit snuggly on the face, but allow for comfortable breathing.
It is advised that persons take the necessary precautions to prevent suffocation if –
– they have trouble breathing; or
– are unable to remove the mask themselves without assistance.
Further, it is recommended that children under the age of 2 years old NOT wear cloth face masks. This will cause them to suffocate.
However, children two (2) years and older can wear cloth face masks if they do not have difficulty breathing.
Parents are requested to encourage their children to –
– frequently wash or sanitize their hands; and
– avoid touching the front of their mask while they are wearing it.
Let us keep the children of the nation safe.”
GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
18th April, 2020