How To Wear A Non-medical Mask Or Face Covering Properly & Safely
When worn properly, a person wearing a non-medical mask or face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets. However, we must remember, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. You must also wash your hands often, practise physical distancing and stay home if you are sick.
Non-medical face masks or face coverings should:
Some masks also include a pocket to accommodate a paper towel or disposable coffee filter, for increased benefit.
Non-medical masks or face coverings should:
Homemade masks are not medical devices and are not regulated like medical masks and respirators:
These types of masks may not be effective in blocking virus particles that may be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or certain medical procedures. They do not provide complete protection from virus particles because of a potential loose fit and the materials used.
Some commercially available masks have exhalation valves that make the mask more breathable for the person wearing it, but these valves also allow infectious respiratory droplets to spread outside the mask.
Masks with exhalation valves are not recommended, because they don't protect others from COVID-19 and don't limit the spread of the virus.
Medical masks, including surgical, medical procedure face masks and respirators (like N95 masks), must be kept for health care workers and others providing direct care to COVID-19 patients.
How to wear a non-medical mask or face covering properly
To continue to limit the spread of COVID-19, here’s how to wear a non-medical mask or face covering when physical distancing is difficult.
Step 1: Wash your hands before use
Start by washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds.
Step 2: Use loops or ties to place mask over nose and mouth, and secure it
Then, pick up the mask by the ties or loops, place it over your nose and mouth, and secure it behind your head or ears.
Step 3: Adjust mask if needed
From there, adjust the mask to ensure your nose and mouth are fully covered, so there are no gaps. Then wash your hands again.
Step 4: Avoid touching the mask
While wearing the mask, avoid touching it or touching your face. And wash your hands if you do.
Step 5: Remove using the loops
Once you’re done using the mask, remove it by the ties or loops without touching the front.
Step 6: Fold and place inside a clean bag
Fold the outer parts of the mask together, and place it in a clean bag to wash later. Or if it's a single-use mask, throw it out in the garbage. Then wash your hands right away.
Step 7: Change if moist, dirty or damaged
Change your mask whenever it becomes moist, dirty or damaged.
Step 8: Don’t hang from your neck or ears
Don’t leave the mask hanging from your neck or ears.
Step 9: Wash your hands after use
And remember: always wash your hands after using a mask.
When you wear a mask, you’re protecting others around you.
But a mask alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. So continue frequent hand washing, practising physical distancing and staying home if you’re sick.
Let’s protect each other.