Disposable masks, once used primarily by medical professionals, are now becoming standard gear for millions of people worldwide. Masks are a key part of personal safety during the pandemic, but only if you handle them properly.
The World Health Organization (WHO) offers these tips for disposable medical masks, also displayed in the graphic below.
- Before putting on a mask, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
- To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
While masks are important, the WHO cautions that “Masks alone cannot protect you from COVID-19.” They should be used in conjunction with frequent hand washing and physical distancing.
Click on the infographic to view a larger version on the WHO website.