COVID-19 and face masks: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

The Centers for Disease Command and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all individuals age two decades and more mature don a face mask when they are in a general public space. You should don a mask:

  • Any time you depart your dwelling to go out in general public and when you are close to individuals who don’t stay in your family
  • Any time you are in a general public setting, these as at a grocery shop or pharmacy or when employing general public or mass transportation

How Masks Enable Guard People From COVID-19

COVID-19 spreads to individuals in just close call (about six ft or 1.eight meters). When a person with the ailment coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice, respiratory droplets spray into the air. You and other folks can capture the ailment if you breathe in these droplets, or if you contact these droplets and then contact your eye, nose, mouth, or face.

Putting on a face mask in excess of your nose and mouth keeps droplets from spraying out into the air when you are speaking, coughing, or sneezing. Putting on a mask also can help preserve you from touching your face.

Even if you don’t believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should still don a face mask when you are out in general public. People can have COVID-19 and not have signs or symptoms. Usually signs or symptoms don’t look for about 5 times following infection. Some individuals never have signs or symptoms. So you can have the disorder, not know it, and still move COVID-19 to other folks.

Preserve in mind that putting on a face mask does not exchange social distancing. You should still preserve social distancing by keeping at the very least six ft (1.eight meters) from other individuals. Working with face masks and practising social distancing jointly further more can help avert COVID-19 from spreading, alongside with washing your arms normally and not touching your face.

About Encounter Masks

When picking out a face mask, abide by these recommendations:

  • Masks should involve at the very least two or far more layers.
  • Cloth masks should be designed of material that can be laundered in a washing device and dryer. Some masks involve a pouch in which you can insert a filter for additional safety.
  • The face mask should healthy snugly in excess of your nose and mouth, and against the sides of your face, and secured underneath your chin. If you normally need to have to regulate your mask, it does not healthy correctly.
  • If you don eyeglasses, appear for masks with a nose wire to assist avert fogging. Antifogging sprays may perhaps also assist.
  • Secure the mask to your face employing ear loops or ties.
  • Make sure you can breathe comfortably through the mask.
  • Do not use masks that have a valve or vent, which can enable virus particles to escape.
  • You should not decide on masks intended for wellness treatment workers, these as N-ninety five respirators (known as private protecting devices, or PPE). For the reason that these are now in quick source, precedence to PPE is reserved for wellness treatment companies and clinical initially responders.
  • Neck tubes or gaiters should have two layers or be folded in excess of alone to make two layers of safety.
  • In chilly weather conditions, scarves, ski masks, and balaclavas should be worn in excess of masks. They are not able to be utilised in spot of masks, as most have a loose knit product or openings that enable air to move through.
  • Encounter shields are not encouraged for use in spot of face masks at this time.

You can make a face mask employing dwelling elements designed from cotton these as a pillowcase or a t-shirt. The CDC has directions on how to make a face mask at dwelling.

Discover how to effectively don and treatment for a fabric face mask:

  • Clean your arms right before positioning the mask on your face so that it covers equally your nose and mouth. Change the mask so that there are no gaps.
  • At the time you have the mask on, do not contact the mask. If you have to contact the mask, wash your arms ideal away or use hand sanitizer with at the very least 60% alcoholic beverages.
  • Preserve the mask on the overall time you are in general public. Do not slip the mask down on your chin or neck, don it beneath your nose or mouth or up on your brow, don it only on your nose, or dangle it from one ear. This tends to make the mask worthless.
  • If your mask results in being soaked, you should transform it. It is really practical to have a spare with you if you are outside in the rain or snow. Shop soaked masks in a plastic bag until eventually you can launder them.
  • At the time you return dwelling, remove the mask by touching only the ties or ear loops. Do not contact the front of the mask or your eyes, nose, mouth, or face. Clean your arms following removing the mask.
  • Launder fabric masks with your regular laundry employing laundry detergent and dry them in a warm or sizzling dryer at the very least after a working day if utilised that working day. If washing by hand, wash in tap h2o employing laundry soap. Rinse nicely and air dry.
  • Do not share masks or contact masks utilised by other individuals in your family.

Encounter masks should not be worn by:

  • Young children youthful than age two
  • People with respiration problems
  • Any one who is unconscious or who is not able to remove the mask on their very own without assist

For some individuals, or in some circumstances, putting on a face mask may perhaps be difficult. Illustrations involve:

  • People with intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Younger little ones
  • Being in a situation in which the mask may perhaps get soaked, these as at a pool or out in the rain
  • When accomplishing intensive activities, these as working, in which a mask tends to make respiration difficult
  • When putting on a mask may perhaps bring about a safety hazard or boost the risk of warmth-relevant ailment
  • When talking to individuals who are deaf or really hard-of-listening to who count on lipreading for communication

In these types of circumstances, keeping at the very least six ft away from other folks is significantly crucial. Being outside can also assist. There may perhaps be other methods to adapt as nicely, for instance, some face masks are designed with a piece of apparent plastic so the wearer’s lips can be witnessed. You can also discuss with your wellness treatment service provider to go over other methods to adapt to the situation.