Non-Medical Face Masks and COVID-19
WHEN DO I WEAR A FACE MASK?
- When you are in a space that requires a face mask.
- When your health professional tells you to.
- You’re in a shared space (indoors or outdoors) with people from outside of your immediate household
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED TYPE OF FACE MASK?
A non-medical mask can be homemade or purchased and should:
- be made of multiple layers, including at least 2 layers of tightly woven fabric, such as cotton and a third middle layer of filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene
- use materials that are breathable
Using a filter as a middle layer in your non-medical mask adds an extra layer of protection against COVID-19.
Filters can be purchased or you can prepare your own using a:
- piece of non-woven polypropylene fabric
- paper kitchen towel that has been folded in half
- baby wipe that has been rinsed, dried and folded in half
- reusable masks with a non-woven filter layer can be washed multiple times.
- disposable filters should be changed daily or as directed by the manufacturer
Wearing a well-constructed and well-fitting 2-layer non-medical mask properly will still protect you and others around you.
- If your 2-layer mask has a pocket intended for a filter, insert a filter.
- If your 2-layer mask doesn’t have a filter, consider sewing in a pocket for a removable or disposable filter.
HOW DO I WEAR A FACE MASK?
- Wash your hands before putting on your face mask and after taking it off.
- Only touch the straps when putting on or taking off your face mask.
- Avoid touching the outer surface of your face mask.
- Choose a face mask that is comfortable, doesn't leave gaps on the side of
- your face and doesn't require frequent adjustments.
- Your mask should cover your chin, nose and mouth
- Wash cloth masks frequently and in hot water.
- Dispose of single-use masks after each use.
- Do not share a face mask.
WHO SHOULD WEAR A FACE MASK?
Wearing a non-medical face mask can protect those around you from
the virus you may be carrying. Anyone can wear a face mask.
People, including those with lung disease, are encouraged to wear a face
mask when physical distancing is not possible. There is no evidence
that wearing a face mask would worsen your lung condition.
If wearing a face mask causes you anxiety or shortness of breath, avoid
situations that require it. You can also speak to your healthcare
provider to give you tips or advice so you can wear a face mask.
WHY SHOULD I WEAR A FACE MASK?
Wearing a face mask can protect those around you. You may have the
virus without showing any symptoms.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
- Continue physical distancing.
- Continue to follow proper hand washing guidelines (20 seconds with
- soap and warm water).
- Avoid going out if you may be sick.