FAQ: How To Wear A Medical Mask?

Are cloth masks a suitable option for protection against COVID-19?

Cloth masks are a more suitable option for community use when medical masks are unavailable. Protection provided by cloth masks may be improved by selecting appropriate material, increasing the number of mask layers, and using those with a design that provides filtration and fit. Cloth masks should be washed daily and after high-exposure use by using soap and water or other appropriate methods.

Can we reuse disposable surgical masks during COVID-19?

The CDC does not recommend the reuse of disposable surgical masks that are intended to be used once. The FDA recognizes that there may be availability concerns with surgical masks during the COVID-19 public health emergency, but there are strategies to conserve surgical masks.

How to properly remove a face mask with ties and bands during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Face Mask with Ties: Untie the bottom bow first then untie the top bow and pull the mask away from you as the ties are loosened. Face Mask with Bands: Lift the bottom strap over your head first then pull the top strap over your head. Throw the mask in the trash. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

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How long does COVID-19 survive on fabric?

A study published in found that at room temperature, COVID-19 was detectable on fabric for up to two days, compared to seven days for plastic and metal. However, when it was exposed to high heat, the virus became inactive within five minutes.

How often do I need to wash my COVID-19 face covering?

If you’re using a cloth face covering, you should wash it after every use. Just like other materials and pieces of clothing, they can become contaminated by bacteria and viruses in our environment and can cause an infection if they’re worn for a prolonged period of time without being cleaned.

Are multilayer cloth masks more effective than single-layer ones for protecting from COVID-19?

In recent laboratory experiments, multilayer cloth masks were more effective than single-layer masks, blocking as much as 50% to 70% of exhaled small droplets and particles.

Does wearing a cloth mask over a medical one reduce exposure to COVID-19 more than wearing just one mask?

Based on experiments that measured the filtration efficiencies of various cloth masks and a medical procedure mask (6), it was estimated that the better fit achieved by combining these two mask types, specifically a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, could reduce a wearer’s exposure by >90%.

How often should I clean my cloth face mask or covering during the COVID-19 pandemic?

You should clean your mask after every wearing. This reduces the risk of spreading the coronavirus or other germs.

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