Who should wear a fabric face mask
- Fabric face masks are not for the use of Healthcare Workers or people looking after someone diagnosed with COVID-19. These masks are for the general population to wear with the aim of decreasing the droplet spread of the virus to the environment by people who do not know they have the virus.
- WARNING: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Where to wear a fabric face mask
- We encourage the use of fabric face masks in all public settings – shops, medical appointments etc., however this should never replace social distancing or handwashing.
Wearing a Mask Safely
There are right ways and wrong ways to wear masks. Every day we see people on the TV with masks hanging down around their necks or drooping under their noses. We also see people constantly adjusting and touching the masks. These are all examples of what not to do.
The guidelines below show you how to wear a fabric (cloth) mask safely. Please follow them and make sure that the mask wearers near you know how to wear masks safely too!
How to use a mask
- Fabric face masks should be removed as soon as they become damp.
- Once removed do not use again until washed.
- Avoid touching your face and mask.
- Continue handwashing and social distancing to protect yourself
- Remember your mask will become wet while you wear it so please make sure you change masks throughout the day. You may need 3-4 masks for a day.
Before putting on the mask
- Wash your hands after handling the package that the mask is in and wash your masks before you use them.
Putting on the mask
- Wash or sanitise your hands. Do not touch the inside of the mask. Place against your face and use the elastics or ties to position over your nose and mouth. Fix in place. If there is a metal strip in the mask, make sure it is over the nose bridge. Use gentle pressure to conform the metal to the nose bridge and enable a good fit.
- Touching your mask is equivalent to touching your face so please avoid this. If you must, make sure you sanitise your hands before and after touching the mask!
- Ensure that your face mask:
- fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- is secured with ties or ear loops
- includes multiple layers of fabric
- allows for breathing without restriction
- is able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.
Removing the mask
- Wash your hands first. Remove the mask from behind and do not touch the mask itself. Drop it straight into a washing machine, bag or container which can also be sanitised.
Cleaning the mask
- Wash the masks on a 60°C hot water cycle with detergent after every use.
Includes information compiled by De S Chathri and adapted from: