Face masks can provide some sort of protection to others by acting as a barrier against the droplets expelled when you sneeze or cough. However, they are not a bulletproof method of protection: your eyes remain vulnerable to virus exposure and if used or discarded incorrectly, face masks can become a vector of infection.
Using a face mask properly will increase your chances of getting protected if you also follow other preventive hygiene measures. Simply follow these step-by-step instructions to make sure you are optimally protected:
How to put on and adjust a face mask
- Make sure your hands are clean before putting your mask on, using soapy water.
- Hold your mask by the ear loops and place them behind your ears securely, using one hand. Using the other, ensure that your nose and your mouth are completely covered and that there are no visible gaps between them and your mask.
- Wash your hands again once the mask is secured in place.
- Try not to touch your mask when you are wearing it. If you have to touch your mask to re-adjust it, clean your hands beforehand and afterwards.
How to remove a face mask adequately
Never re-use masks that are solely intended for single use and change them often. As soon as your face mask is soiled or damp, replace it with a new one or remove it.
- Make sure your hands are clean before removing your mask, using soapy water.
- Hold your mask by the ear loops and remove them one at a time. When removing your mask, make sure not to touch the front of your mask.
- Discard the mask safely or wash it. Remember to clean your hands after.
How to wash a face mask to re-use it
If you own a re-useable mask or a fabric mask, it is possible to wash them so they can be re-used again. Simply, fold in your mask using the sides after you remove it and place into a clean bag. Once you are home, wash it with your other clothes.
What can my pharmacist do?
Given the current situation around COVID-19, inquire if face masks are available at your pharmacy before visiting your pharmacist.
Furthermore, your pharmacist remains available over the phone to answer any other concerns you might have about preventive measures, any symptoms you may experience and your medication. They can also provide advice on best practices to ensure you are using your mask properly, according to health and safety’s guidelines.