Doing Our Part To Defeat The Coronavirus
The White House and U.S. health officials recommend that all Americans wear cloth masks in public.
These facial masks are ideal because they help reduce the spread of the virus from people who have symptoms, but especially for asymptomatic patients who do not show signs.
Even without showing symptoms, individuals can spread the virus from water droplets from speaking, sneezing, and coughing in a public area.
This type of transmission is especially challenging because people who don’t know that they are sick can spread the virus to a healthy population by simplifying being in their general area.
Take action to slow the spread of #COVID19 by wearing a cloth face covering in public spaces, keeping at least 6 feet of physical distance, & frequently washing your hands.
Make a cloth face covering from a t-shirt, scarf or cloth napkin. Learn more at https://t.co/bihJ3xEM15. pic.twitter.com/IVZklVYUtS
— CDC (@CDCgov) April 5, 2020
How To Wear A Cloth Mask
The best way to keep you and your family safe during this time is to shelter-in-place and follow the rules of your state and local government. In addition to shelter-in-place, you should also follow social discounting guidelines when in public and frequently wash your hands to reduce the spread of the virus.
Masks are only a tool to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and many experts agree that the covers are only effective with frequent hand-cleaning. This is because the virus can still spread, and you can contract the virus through various activities- most stemming from touching your face, eyes, and nose.
Tips To Care For Your Mask During & After Use
While wearing your mask is essential when venturing into a social setting where social distancing is not maintained, it is also essential to prevent the unintended spread of the virus after use.
Each time you go into the public, you are taking on the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Since you want to limit your family’s exposure to the virus, you should be sure to take special care of the cloth mask after each use.
How you take off, clean, and sanitize your hands after interacting with the mask can have a significant impact on your ability to protect yourself and your family through these uncertain times. Here are a few precautions that you can take when removing your mask and detailed instructions that you should follow each time you are done using the face mask:
- Make sure the mask fits snug on your face. Minimize gaps between the mask and your nose and face to help reduce the chances that any contaminated water droplets enter public areas.
- Men should trim their beards and keep their facial hair 1 inch or shorter. Keeping facial hair trimmed and short can further reduce gaps between the mask and your face.
- Avoid touching your cloth mask when out in public. You should consider your mask contaminated the moment you put it on, and limiting interaction with your mask will ensure that your hands and other body parts do not transmit the virus.
- Only untie or tough the elastic bands of your mask. Do not touch the cloth areas of the mask, since these areas are most likely to have water droplets or other pollutants on them that can transmit the virus.
- Dispose of wash (if your cloth face mask is reusable) after each use. This will ensure that any contaminants the mask picks up throughout the day are cleaned.
- Wash your hands after touching the mask. You should use warm soapy water after each use and every time you touch your mask. Washing your hands after touching the mask is just another precaution to isolate any contamination and reduce the spread of the virus.
Take Care Of Your Cloth Mask & Your Health
Social distancing is the best way to watch your health and help flatten the curve. However, you may not be able to keep six feet away from other people at all times, especially in grocery stores and pharmacies.
The CDC recommends that you wear a cloth mask in these situations where you need to go to areas where you may come into close contact with others. While a cloth facial mask is not as effective as surgical masks or N95 masks, a cloth face mask can help you from unknowingly transmit the virus to other healthy individuals if you are asymptomatic.
Taking care of your mask is vital to ensure you isolate yourself and your family from the virus. Be sure to follow the directions of health experts, and pay attention to how you care for and remove your face mask after every use.