Some people still have questions about when or where you should wear a mask, which type of mask is best, and how to properly wear your mask. It’s important that we follow the proper guidelines for wearing masks, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as much as we can. I’ve compiled a “tip sheet” in regards to face coverings to answer some of these questions:
The Center for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) recommends that masks are worn anywhere that you will come within six feet of anyone who isn’t a member of your household.
COVID-19 can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms, who therefore may not know they are sick, so it’s important that everyone wears a mask regardless of symptoms.
Masks should not be worn by: children younger than 2 years old; people who have trouble breathing; anyone who is incapacitated or unconscious who cannot remove their masks on their own.
For those who are unable to wear masks, the CDC recommends that they take other measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as frequent hand washing, social distancing, and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.
John Hopkins Medicine instructs, “Your mask should cover your face from the bridge of your nose to under your chin. It should be loose fitting but still secure enough to stay in place. Make sure you can talk with your mask on and that it doesn’t irritate you, so you are not tempted to touch it or pull it out of place, which could put you at risk from touching your face or limit its effectiveness.”
Many are wondering which types of masks are best to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the following information is from John Hopkins Medicine:
Cloth or Paper Masks:
These masks may reduce the spread of the virus, and are appropriate for the public to use. They can and should be washed daily.
Procedural and Surgical Masks:
These are not close fitting, but are fluid resistant and provide some protection against the spread of respiratory droplets. These masks cannot be washed, and should be reserved for health care workers who rely on an adequate supply of them.
These medical devices are called N95 Respirators, and are made to protect the user against droplets that may be suspended in the air. These respirators are currently in short supply and should be reserved for health care workers.
These plastic shields are sometimes worn by healthcare workers over masks for extra protections. If you remain six feet away from others in public places, you do not need a face shield, simply wearing a mask will contain your respiratory droplets.