How to Safely Wear A Face Mask

Masks are one of the most important ways to stop the spread of COVID-19. You should wear masks in public settings, around people who don’t live in your household, and when you can’t stay 6 feet away (socially distance) from others. But not every mask is automatically helpful, and deciding what kind of mask to wear can be confusing. Here are some tips from the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

DO choose masks that

Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric

Completely cover your nose and mouth

Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps

DO NOT choose masks that

Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, for example, vinyl

Have exhalation valves or vents, which allow virus particles to escape

Are intended for healthcare workers, include N95 respirators or surgical masks


No mask can be effective, however, if you aren’t wearing it the right way. Wash your hands before putting on a mask, and do not touch your face while you are wearing it. Do NOT wear a mask around your neck, on your forehead, under your nose, only on your nose, on your chin, dangling from one ear, on your arm.

Remove your mask by the ear loops; do not pull it off from the front. Fold the mask in two with the inside of it facing out. Wash your hands immediately after removing the mask. To wash it, ,iInclude your mask with your regular laundry

Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask. Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry. For more information on washing masks, click here.

Information provided courtesy of the CDC. For the agency’s complete website on wearing a mask, click here.


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