As restrictions begin to loosen and people start to get out more, we have
to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, which doesn’t look
like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. The CDC recommends that everyone
wear cloth face masks in public places where it's hard to keep a 6-foot
distance from other people. Face masks combined with other preventive
measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, can help
slow the spread of the disease.
But you may be asking yourself, “What type of mask is right for me?”,
“What’s the best way to put it on and take it off?”
and “How often should I wash it?” Here are some tips to get
you up to speed.
Different Types of Masks
There are three main types of masks that can help prevent the spread of
the virus. Here is a breakdown of each and who they are best suited for:
Surgical mask or medical masks: are often blue with white borders and fit loosely across your nose and
mouth. They shield against the large droplets that come from a sick person's
cough or sneeze, but they're too loose to protect against all germs
and can't block the tiniest particles that may carry coronavirus.
Best suited for healthcare workers.
Respirator or N95 masks: are meant to protect healthcare workers from exposure to infectious particles
that may be generated during certain procedures. They must fit just right
in order to work.
Cloth masks: create a barrier for individuals visiting busy, closed spaces such as
grocery stores, shopping centers and health care clinics. A cloth mask
is worn to help protect others in case the wearer has the virus. Best
suited for the general public. Should not be used on children under 2
or anyone who has trouble breathing.
Pointers for putting on and taking off a mask
It’s important to learn how to properly put your mask on and take
them off without getting germs on your hands and transferring them somewhere
else. Here are some tips:
- Place your mask over your mouth and nose.
- Tie it behind your head or use ear loops and make sure it's snug.
- Don't touch your mask while wearing it.
- If you accidentally touch your mask, wash or sanitize your hands.
- Remove the mask by untying it or lifting off the ear loops without touching
the front of the mask or your face.
- Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask.
- Regularly wash your mask with detergent and water in the washing machine.
It's fine to launder it with other clothes and dry it in the dryer.
- Don't put masks on anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
or otherwise unable to remove the mask without help.
- Don't put masks on children under 2 years of age.
- Don't use face masks as a substitute for social distancing.
The use of a face mask can help reduce the spread of infection in our community.
Do YOUR part, wear a mask.