The CDC regularly updates their coronavirus recommendations as new information about COVID-19 becomes available. On Thursday, the national health organization made some major changes to its recommendations on how to select, wear, and clean your mask. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
When You Should Wear a Mask
Basically, whenever you are in public or around anyone who doesn't live with you, mask up. "CDC recommends that you wear masks in public settings around people who don't live in your household and when you can't stay 6 feet away from others. Masks help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others," they explain.
Masks Should Meet This Criteria
Per the CDC, masks with two or more layers are most effective when it comes to stopping the spread of coronavirus. However, how you wear your mask is also important. "Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin," they instruct. Also make sure it fits snuggly against the side of your face and don't have gaps.
Avoid These Mask Mistakes
The CDC suggests avoiding masks that are made from materials that might make it difficult to breath, such as vinyl. They also ask that you avoid wearing any masks meant for medical professionals, such as N95s. Additionally, they warn against masks with valves, as the vents will allow virus particles to escape.
Wear These Masks with Caution
The effectiveness of gaiters and face shields is "unknown at this time," the CDC warns.
If You Wear Glasses
If you wear glasses, the CDC recommends finding a mask that fits snuggly over your nose or one that has a nose wire to avoid fogging.
The Guidelines for Children
Masks should be worn by people two years and older, the CDC explains. However, they should NOT be worn by children younger than two, people who have trouble breathing, or people who cannot remove the mask without assistance, they point out. If you are able to, they suggest finding a mask made especially for children. If you can't, make sure it fits snugly over the nose, mouth, and under the chin.
How to Wear Your Mask
The CDC asks that you wear a mask "correctly and consistently" for the best protection. "Be sure to wash your hands before putting on a mask," they warn. "Do NOT touch the mask when wearing it."
Do not wear your mask around your neck, on your forehead, under your nose, only on your nose, on your chin, dangling from one ear, or on your arm, the CDC states.
How to Take Off Your Mask
First, carefully untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops. Second, handle only by the ear loops or ties. Third, fold outside corners together. Lastly, be careful not to touch your nose, eyes, and mouth when removing and be sure to wash your hands immediately after removing.
How to Clean Your Mask
The CDC urges the importance of mask hygiene, making sure to wash them regularly. To clean them, simply throw your mask in with your regular laundry. "Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask," they suggest. "Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry." And to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 37 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.