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Proper Use of Masks

Mask

Non-medical masks or face coverings may help reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from the user to others or to the surroundings.

Masks have limitations. Non-medical masks, such as homemade and cloth masks, are not medical devices and are not regulated like medical masks and respirators. These types of masks may not be effective in blocking virus particles that may be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or certain medical procedures due to potential loose fit and the materials used.

Be sure to also use other methods of preventing spread such as social (physical) distancing and proper handwashing.

Choosing a Mask:

Masks Should:

  • Allow for easy breathing,
  • Fit securely to the head with ear loops or ties,
  • Be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment,
  • If cloth, be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen),
  • Be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping.

Masks Should Not:

  • Have an exhalation valve (as these masks do not protect others),
  • Impair vision or interfere with tasks,
  • Be made of plastic or other non-breathable materials.

How to Put on a Mask:

How to put on a mask
How to put on a mask

While Wearing a Mask:

While wearing a mask
While wearing a mask

How to Remove a Mask:

Disposable Mask:

How to remove disposable mask
How to remove disposable mask

Reusable Mask:

How to remove reusable mask
How to remove reusable mask

Cleaning a Reusable Mask:

  • Washing by Machine: Wash using a hot cycle then dry thoroughly,
  • Washing by Hand: Wash it thoroughly using soap and warm/hot water, allow to air dry completely.

Other Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Never share your mask with someone else,
  • Do not handle a mask belonging to someone else,
  • Do not allow other people to handle or touch your mask.

Masks in the Workplace

Employers, use this template to create a mask Safe Work Procedure for your workplace: SWP COVID-19 – Non-Medical Masks

For assistance, contact us at [email protected].

Published: September 4, 2020

“Non-medical masks and face coverings: About”, Government of Canada, 24 July 2020, www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/about-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html

“Non-medical masks and face coverings: How to put on, remove and clean”, Government of Canada, 16 July 2020, www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/how-put-remove-clean-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html