Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives; the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against COVID-19.
If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a reusable face mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. Take expert advice where you live and work.
Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. The appropriate use, storage and cleaning, or disposal of masks are essential to make them as effective as possible.
Here are the basics of how to wear a mask:
- Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time.
- Make sure it covers both your nose, mouth, and chin.
- When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic bag, and every day either wash it if it’s a fabric mask or dispose of a medical mask in a trash bin.
- Don’t use masks with valves.
Evidence suggests face coverings have value in protecting public health, in crowded and less well-ventilated spaces, and where physical distancing is not possible.