Aug 14, 2020

COVID-19 and masks: Best practices

  • Article
  • hst
  • Health, Safety and Environment

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, many public health agencies across the country are requiring people to wear masks in enclosed or covered public spaces. They are also strongly recommending that masks be worn when physical distancing cannot be respected.

Here are some best practices for properly wearing masks, thereby limiting the spread of the virus.

  1. Choose an appropriate mask or face covering

    According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, to be effective, a non-medical mask or face covering should meet the following criteria:

    • Allow for easy breathing by the person wearing the mask
    • Be comfortable and not require frequent adjustments
    • Be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (like cotton or linen)
    • Be large enough to cover the nose and mouth
    • Fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops

    A few tips:

    • Never share your mask with others.
    • Have several masks on hand so you can replace one if it becomes too damp or dirty.
    • Keep a plastic bag with you to store reusable masks that you’ve worn and want to take home. Disposable masks must be placed in the garbage.

    Handle masks correctly

    Here are recommendations from the World Health Organization about handling reusable masks.

    Before wearing the mask

    • First, wash your hands with soap and water or use disinfectant.

    Placing the mask

    • Place the mask on your face to cover your nose and mouth and adjust it so it doesn’t move too much.
    • Wash your hands again.
    • Don’t touch your mask. If you must touch it, wash your hands first with soap and water or use disinfectant.

    Removing the mask

    • Remove the mask by the straps, without touching the front of the mask.
    • Place it in a plastic bag.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water or use disinfectant.

    Caring for reusable masks

    After removing the mask, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends:

    • putting the mask directly into the washing machine with other laundry.
    • using the hot water cycle with laundry detergent and drying the mask in the dryer.

    Provincial regulations

    Because regulations vary from province to province, visit the relevant government authority sites for more information.

This content is for general information purposes only. All rights reserved ©BBA

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