Face Masks 101: Everything You Need to Know About Everyday Wear
BY KATIE CAVENDER
Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) has recommended that people, whether sick or healthy, wear a face mask in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. If you need to make a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy, wear a cloth face mask as a public health measure.
Save a life
Some people may carry the coronavirus (COVID-19) without experiencing any symptoms, while the virus may be life-threatening to others. Although there are some known risk factors, it is still unknown how each person will respond to COVID-19. A cloth face mask is not intended to protect the person wearing it – it is a way to protect those who are the most vulnerable in our community.
COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets that can be created when someone coughs or sneezes. A cloth mask keeps those droplets from traveling to a commonly touched surface or onto another person’s body.
When it comes to everyday use, cloth face coverings are recommended. By not using surgical masks and N95 respirators, you help preserve those resources for health care professionals.
Quick tips to help keep you, your family and our community safe
Snug fit – It should lie comfortably against the side of your face and be secured with ties or ear loops.
Layer up – Include multiple layers of fabric in your face mask, but make sure to allow for breathing without restriction.
Wear with care – When putting on and removing your mask, do not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. While your mask is on, try not to touch or adjust it. This will reduce the chance of the virus moving from your mask to your hands, or vice versa. Wash your hands immediately before putting the mask on and after taking it off.
Keep it clean – Make sure your face mask can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to its shape. Clean it after every use.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Stay up to date and get the facts. Visit LVHN.org/COVID19.
For more details, including face mask patterns, download this PDF from the CDC.
If you would like to make face masks to donate to Lehigh Valley Health Network, visit LVHN.org/facemasks for more details and approved patterns.