When you first start wearing a face mask, it may be unexpectedly complicated. As a new face mask wearer, it’s logical you’ll have questions. Questions like – “Where should I be wearing my mask”, “How do you properly wear your face mask?” and “How often should you clean your face mask?”
In this article I’ll answer some of the most common questions we receive regarding face masks.
Should I wear a face mask when I’m out in public?
Yes. On April 3rd, the CDC changed its guidelines to recommend that we should wear “cloth coverings” in public places where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.
We recommend wearing face masks whenever you are out in public for maximum protection.
How do I put my face mask on?
Who does my face mask protect?
Wearing a face mask largely benefits other people. It’s to protect others from exposure if you are sick or if you’re an asymptomatic carrier. The more we all wear masks, the more we could help each other.
Furthermore, with a face mask on you have a constant reminder not to touch your face. This directly protects the wearer.
What kind of face mask should I be using?
You should be using a reusable cloth or fabric mask. PCC face masks are examples of reusable face masks. Face masks of this type can be cleaned or sterilized and reused.
You should not be using medical face masks or N95 face masks. These should be reserved for first responders and frontline workers.
Are cloth or fabric face masks effective?
According to CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, medical-grade masks are more effective than cloth or fabric face masks, but that “doesn’t mean we should dismiss the benefit of cloth masks”. Dr. Gupta continued “Ultimately, it’s about having some form of barrier with multiple layers”.
Need more protection? You can improve the effectiveness of your cloth or fabric face mask with the addition of a filter.
Remember, proper fitting is key to any face masks’ effectiveness. According to a new study published in the American Chemical Society Nano journal, a very small gap reduced the efficacy of a mask by at least 50%, emphasizing the importance of a properly fitted mask.
Can I reuse a cloth or fabric face mask?
Cloth or fabric face masks were designed to be reused. Cleaning your face mask is fairly straightforward. You can launder them, sterilize them, or even quarantine them for a few days to remove any potential contamination.
The frequency of cleaning should be based on your use.