How to Safely Wear and Remove a Face Mask
With COVID-19 disrupting all of our lives around the globe, its important to know how to safely wear and remove a face mask. Face masks are one simple product that can help prevent the spread of viruses. Even in the future without COVID it can help prevent others from becoming sick from common colds or other illnesses. When someone coughs, sneezes, or talks they can release very small water droplets into the air that carry the virus. Wearing a mask can help prevent this spread. It's not 100% effective but every little bit helps. It's important to make sure you know the limitations of your mask and understand it can’t stop everything. Make sure your mask is FDA approved as there are many different brands and makes of masks.
Disposable face masks are designed to be worn once and then thrown away. They can become moist quickly which takes away their effectiveness. They are perhaps the most common mask as they are usually the cheapest.
How to wear a mask:
- Wash your hands thoroughly or use sanitizer to make sure your hands are clean.
- Check the mask for holes or rips, if there are holes then throw it away as it won’t be effective
- Check which side of the mask goes on top, usually, the colored side is the front and should face away from your face. The lighter side is usually the side that is touching your face. The metal band inside will go across the bridge of your nose. Bend the metal to fit your nose.
- Secure the strings behind your ears
- Completely cover your mouth and nose. Do not remove the mask or pull it down to expose your nose. It defeats the purpose of a mask when you do this. Touching the mask can also transfer germs from your hands to your face.
How to remove a mask:
It's important to know how to correctly remove a mask, as improperly removing can spread more germs to your face.
- Wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer. Avoid touching the mask as the front has the biggest chance of having germs on it. Only touch the ties or ear loops depending on the mask.
- Hold both ear loops and lift the mask away from your face. Throw the mask away if it’s a disposable one.
- For masks with ties untie the bottom tie first and then the top tie, pulling the mask away from your face when you’re done.
- After throwing the masks away do not touch your face. Wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer again to kill any remaining germs.
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