How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask

CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people.Overview

  1. Wear masks with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19
  2. Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  3. Masks should be worn by people two years and older
  4. Masks should NOT be worn by children younger than two, people who have trouble breathing, or people who cannot remove the mask without assistance
  5. Do NOT wear masks intended for healthcare workers, for example, N95 respirators
  6. CDC does not recommend the use of face shields alone. Evaluation of face shields is ongoing but effectiveness is unknown at this time.
  7. Evaluation of mask and gaiter materials and structure is ongoing.

How to Select

When selecting a mask, there are many choices. Here are some do’s and don’ts.

DO choose masks that: have 2 or more layers of washable, breathable fabric; completely cover your nose and mouth; fit snugly against the sides of your face and don't have gaps.
DO NOT choose masks that: are made of fabric that makes it hard to breath, for example, vinyl; have exhalation valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape; are intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators or surgical masks.
Gaiter and face shields
Special Situations: Children - If you are able, find a mask that is made for children; If you can’t find a mask made for children, check to be sure the mask fits snugly over the nose and mouth and under the chin; Do NOT put on children younger than 2 years old.
Special Situations: Glasses - If you wear glasses, find a mask that fits closely over your nose or one that has a nose wire to limit fogging.

How to Wear

Wear a mask correctly and consistently for the best protection.

  1. Be sure to wash your hands before putting on a mask
  2. Do NOT touch the mask when wearing it
Do wear a mask that: Covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin; Fits snugly against the sides of your face.

Do wear a mask that

  1. Covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  2. Fits snugly against the sides of your face

For more information, visit our How to Wear Masks web page

How NOT to wear a mask: around your neck, on your forehead, under your nose, only on your nose, on your chin, dangling from one ear, on your arm.
How to take off mask: Carefully, untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops; Handle only by the ear loops or ties; Fold outside corners together; Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

How to Clean

Masks should be washed regularly. Always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.

  1. Include your mask with your regular laundry
  2. Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask
  3. Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry

For more information, visit our How to Wash Masks web page.

For more information, see our Masks web site. For information on the sources for our mask guidance, see Recent Studies.

Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

This article is produces “as is” from CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

Main Image courtesy- Pixabay, justinkilian1 /

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