Cloth face coverings come in many styles and colors, but the proper way to wear them remains consistent.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people wear cloth face coverings in public places such as the grocery store or pharmacy where social distancing is difficult. The recommendation is based on research that suggests a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms, and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before becoming symptomatic.
Cloth face coverings can prevent people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
For the approach to be effective, however, it’s important for cloth face coverings to fit snugly and cover both your nose and mouth. Here’s a look at the right (and wrong ways) to position a face covering:
If you have an appointment for care at Tidelands Health, remember to bring your cloth face covering with you. A face covering or mask is required inside all of health system’s 60-plus care locations to help limit the spread of COVID-19. At Tidelands Health, it’s part of the not-for-profit organization’s “Safe in Our Care” commitment, a series of extra precautions put in place to protect patients and reassure them it’s safe to get the medical care they need.
If you don’t have a face covering, the health system will supply one before you enter the building, but you are strongly encouraged to bring your own to help conserve the organization’s supply.
Here are some other key tips for wearing cloth face coverings:
- Wash your hands thoroughly immediately before and after using the face covering.
- Routinely wash the homemade cloth face covering in the washing machine. Daily washing is recommended.
- Don’t use face coverings on children under the age of 2 or on anyone who has trouble breathing.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth after removing the cloth face covering and use the ties or bands for application and removal. Thoroughly wash your hands immediately before and after putting it on.
- Don’t reuse a cloth face covering without first laundering it. Avoid using a cloth face covering that has a hole or fits poorly.
- Don’t share a cloth face covering with another person. Keep your cloth face covering for your own use.
- Don’t leave a dirty cloth face covering laying around where it can be easily touched.
- Don’t use medical facemask, such as an N95 respirator, which should be reserved for health care workers and first responders.