Wearing a face mask to help reduce the spread of the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19), can not only help keep you safe but also potentially save the lives of those around you, especially those who are more vulnerable.
As part of its recommendations for reducing the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests anyone over the age of two wears a face mask of some sort when outside their home and in areas where social distancing may be difficult, such as offices, grocery stores, and restaurants. Find out more about why it’s important to wear a face mask, what face mask is best for you, how to wear it, and when to wash it.
Why Face Masks?
Transmission of respiratory droplets is the main way for COVID-19 to spread. Produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks, raises their voice, or even sings, these respiratory droplets can land on another person’s face, mouth, or nose and potentially infect them.
Since those who are infected may not immediately show symptoms, wearing a face mask when outside the home can help reduce the risk of spreading the virus from one person to another by catching these respiratory droplets before they become airborne.
Wearing a face mask is an easy way to help protect yourself and potentially save the lives of others!
What Types of Face Masks Are There?
While there are many options for face masks, Cardio Partners offers both disposable and reusable cloth masks. If you are required to wear a face mask at work or at frequently visited areas, a reusable and washable cloth face mask may be a more feasible option. Should you be making direct contact with multiple people throughout the day, disposable face masks may be a better option as they can easily and quickly be changed out. Disposable masks are also an option for businesses offering face masks to guests upon entering.
Face shields, N95 masks, and respirators should be reserved for those in medical facilities or on the frontline who come in direct contact with the virus.
How to Properly Wear a Face Mask
Some may find wearing a face mask uncomfortable, but they are only effective when worn properly. Before putting on a face mask, be sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap to help prevent the transfer of bacteria. The face mask should cover your nose and mouth – not hang around your chin or neck – and be secured under your chin and tightly across the sides of the face while still allowing you to breathe easily.
Washing Face Masks
If you choose to wear reusable cloth masks, it’s important to wash them after every use! You can easily include these with your other laundry or wash them by hand with a water and bleach solution – be sure to check the label on the bleach to make sure it’s labeled for disinfection, though. Drying is as simple as tossing in the dryer or laying flat to dry.