How to use and dispose of face masks
Putting on mask:
- Make sure your hands are clean
- For surgical masks, place it on your face, with the metal strip on top and the colored side out, and pinch the metal strip onto your nose for a snug fit
- Pull the bottom to ensure it covers your entire mouth and chin
- Make sure that there are no gaps between your face and the mask
- Remove the elastic loops while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes
- Discard the masked in a closed bin immediately after use
- Wash your hands
Washing cloth masks:
- Use a regular laundry detergent
- Rinse thoroughly
- Throw in the dryer or hang to dry
Reminders on using masks:
Masks are only useful if one uses them correctly.
- Have more than 1 cloth mask so you can change it often. Have a plastic pouch in your bag where you can store used masks until you get home and are able to wash them.
- Avoid touching the front of your mask. If you do touch your mask, disinfect your hands immediately.
- Replace your mask when it gets damp.
- Do not reuse single-use masks.
- Do not pull the mask down to eat and then simply put it back on. Doing this results in your putting germs on the food that you eat!
- Remove your mask by pulling on the straps, not on the mask itself. Put the mask in the laundry immediately. Never reuse a mask without washing it first in soapy water.
- Use cotton cloth, not synthetics, because germs survive longer on synthetics.
- Do not feel too secure behind your mask. Remember that its main purpose is to prevent you from infecting other people, in case you are an asymptomatic carrier. It actually offers very little protection if you are face-to-face with a carrier who is not wearing a mask
Wamsley, L. and Aubrey, A. Coronavirus FAQ. April 3, 2020. www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/04/03/826996154/coronavirus-faqs-is-a-homemade-mask-effective-and-whats-the-best-way-to-wear-one
World Health Organization. How to put on, use, take off, and dispose of a mask. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/epi-win/how-to-use-mask-v0-1-print.pdf?sfvrsn=64ba1493_2
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your Guide to Masks. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html