Salem Police Remind Residents to Properly Dispose of Masks, Gloves

The Salem Police Department has noticed an increase of improperly disposed gloves in parking lots in town. Pictured above is the Walmart parking lot in Salem. (Photo courtesy of the Salem Police Department)

Deputy Police Chief Joel Dolan and the Salem Police Department are reminding residents to properly dispose of gloves and masks.

On Friday, April 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all individuals going out in public wear cloth face masks as precaution in situations where social distancing is hard to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing is the practice of keeping at least six feet between people while in public.

While not recommended by the CDC at this time, some residents have also been wearing latex or other types of disposable gloves as a precaution when coming in contact with highly touched surfaces, such as door knobs and tables.

“In the recent weeks, we’ve noticed an increased number of improperly disposed gloves in the parking lots around town,” Deputy Chief Dolan said. “While we encourage residents to take the necessary steps to protect themselves from COVID-19 should they need to leave their homes, improperly disposed of face masks and gloves poses both a health and environmental risk to our community.”

Gloves and masks should be properly disposed of in trash cans or other types of waste receptacles. Residents may also consider keeping an extra plastic or paper bag in their car to put the used gloves or masks in temporarily if a trash bin is not immediately available.

Information about how to properly remove and make your own face mask can be found on the CDC’s website here. Information about how to safely remove gloves can be found here.

Individuals found to be improperly discarding of materials can be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.

Late last month, Gov. Chris Sununu announced a stay at home recommendation for residents and ordered all non-essential businesses to close in-person and public-interacting operations until at least Monday, May 4.

Essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open during this time. Residents will be allowed to go outside, but are strongly urged to practice social distancing while doing so.

Other recommend steps residents can take to stymie the spread of all communicable viruses are:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
  • Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.

For more information, visit the Town of Salem website by clicking here, the NH DHHS website by clicking here and the CDC’s website by clicking here.

If you have COVID-19 specific questions, the State of NH has established a call center to assist you, which can be reached by calling 211 or 1-866-444-4211.