The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is still among us, and it’s important that we all continue to do our part to help limit the spread of the virus. In addition to social distancing, that means wearing a cloth mask while in a public setting.
Your cloth face mask helps prevent you from inadvertently spreading the virus to others if you’re sick and don’t yet know it. Think of your cloth face mask as part of the new social contract between you and everyone else around you during this pandemic.
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How should your mask fit?
For your cloth mask to be effective, you’ll need to be sure you’re wearing it correctly.
Make sure your mask:
- Covers both your nose and mouth
- Remains secure at both the bridge of your nose and under your chin
- Fits snug to your face, but doesn’t limit your ability to breathe
You’ll also want to avoid touching your mask while wearing it, and, if you do, wash your hands. In addition, avoid letting it drape around your neck or rest on top of your forehead.
Lastly, don’t wear a cloth face mask if you have trouble breathing, and don’t put a mask on a child under the age of 2 or a person who is unable to remove a mask without assistance.
When do you need to wear my mask?
The CDC recommends wearing a cloth mask anytime you’re in a public setting where maintaining social distancing is challenging.
While there’s no hard and fast rule about when and where you need to wear your mask, or don’t need to wear it, the likely places you can always expect social distancing to be challenging include:
- Grocery stores
- Retail stores
- Buses, trains and subways
- Gas stations
If you’re going outdoors for a walk or to exercise, and expect there to be plenty of space between you and others, you can consider forgoing the mask — but it’s always a good idea to have it on hand, just in case.
What’s the right way to remove my mask?
When it comes to removing your mask, you want to be sure you’re doing so correctly.
Start by removing your mask using the strings or bands that secure it behind your ears. While holding only these strings or bands, fold the outside corners together and then wash or store your mask.
Try not to touch any part of your face, particularly your eyes, nose or mouth, while removing your mask, and wash your hands (or apply hand sanitiser) immediately afterwards.