Correctly wearing a face mask is one of the most effective ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19, however, when people aren’t careful with the way they are wearing, removing, or handling their masks, it can increase the risk of exposure to themselves and others.
Karen Pallarito (2020), wrote an article titled “7 Mistakes You Might Be Making with Your Face Mask (and What to Do About It.)” which was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Logan. The face mask mistakes include:
- Forgoing a Mask – As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020), those aged 2 years and older should wear a face-covering around people outside of their household.
- Donning an Ill-Fitted Mask – Ensure that your nose, mouth, and chin are covered when wearing a mask and that your nose or mouth doesn’t become exposed when speaking.
- Touching or tugging at your mask – Avoid pulling your mask on and off as much as possible and also avoid touching the front of your mask where the outer surface has potentially been exposed to virus particles.
- Skipping soap and water or hand sanitizer – Before applying your mask the CDC recommends washing your hands and if you touch the mask you should wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. When you return home take the mask off by the ear loops and fold the outside corners together and dispose of the mask or put in the laundry, then wash or sanitize your hands.
- Not washing your cloth mask – your mask should be washed after every use. The washing machine or handwashing method; to machine wash toss it in with your laundry on the hottest temperature available for the fabric you are washing and for the handwashing method combine 4 teaspoons of bleach with a quart of water and wash the mask, as per the CDC. Let your mask air dry.
- Reusing a disposable mask – disposable masks are meant to be used a single time and then disposed of appropriately as discussed above. They should not be used multiple times as the filtering layers can break down and they become soiled.
- Forgetting your mask – Bringing your mask with you when you go out should become as important as grabbing your keys and phone when you go out the door if you are ridesharing or stopping at a drive-through or any place where you will be around people outside of your household you should take steps to wear a mask.
To read more visit the article posted on Livestrong.com
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). How to select masks. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html
Pallarito, Karen (2020). 7 Mistakes you might be making with your face mask (and what to do about it). Live Strong. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/13727561-how-to-wear-face-mask/