As the coronavirus will be with us for months and, possibly, years, we need to learn to live with it until a vaccine is developed.

That is the message of a community letter from Perham Health.

Perham Health says it supports local businesses reopening, and asks businesses to consider requiring employees and encouraging customers to wear masks in indoor settings, according to the letter. Laminated face mask signs are available for businesses to use.

Since COVID-19 is spread by droplets from people's mouth and nose by talking, coughing or sneezing, wearing a cloth face mask helps contain those droplets from reaching others, according to the letter. Early studies are showing both wearers of masks and those around them have an "extremely low" risk for transmission as the letter states.

Another study compares Japan to the United States, with Japan having limited closings and diligent mask wearing and the U.S. having heavy closings and limited mask wearing. The high success of wearing masks is shown by Japan having 2% of the death rate of the U.S. after adjusting for population differences, according to the letter.

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In addition, Perham Health encourages hand washing, disinfecting, physical distancing and mask wearing to avoid a spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

While numbers of cases locally and in Minnesota are heading in the right direction, COVID-19 remains a serious virus that can spread quickly and ravage the elderly population and those with chronic health conditions, according to the letter.

You can purchase masks and other personal protective equipment for your employees or customers at ottertaillakescountry.com/product-category/ppe/.

If you would like a laminated sign encouraging mask wearing, call Renee Sonnenberg at 218-347-1308.