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How to wear your mask properly

Friday, 07 Aug 2020

We’re loving these New York-based Rochester Regional Health pictures. Hands up who’s seen at least one person wearing their mask in one of these ways.

Wearing a face mask or face covering incorrectly can do more harm than good. A mask should completely cover your nose and mouth and should be tight around your ears or head for a snug fit. It’s important to understand how to properly wear one to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, keeping you and everyone around you better protected.

Here’s what NOT to do:

THE ESCAPE HATCH: When there’s a hole in the mask – Leaving a hole in the mask eliminates the protection that a mask offers. It allows particles to escape and enter the nose and mouth. Guidelines say you can remove your masks once you sit at a table at a restaurant, so there is no need to wear a mask with a hole in it at any time.

THE EARRING: When the mask hangs off one ear – The earring fails to cover the mouth or the nose-the two areas on your face where COVID-19 droplets can enter your body. Wearing a mask and hanging it off one ear is very ineffective. A person wearing a mask like this puts themselves and others at risk.

THE SNIFFER: When the mask leaves the nose exposed – Leaving the nose exposed allows the mask-wearer to spread potentially contagious particles when sneezing, coughing, or talking. They are also increasing their own risk of infection by not covering their nose.

THE STACHE: When you wear your mask like a moustache – Similar to other incorrect mask-wearing techniques, ‘the stache’ exposes the nose and mouth, rendering the mask useless. Be sure to properly cover up your face with a mask or face covering to provide a safeguard against infection or infecting others with COVID-19.

THE NOSE PLUG: When the mask leaves the mouth exposed – The inverse of ‘the sniffer’, this technique is just as ineffective. If the nose and mouth are not both fully covered, the mask is not protecting you or others to its full potential.

THE NECKBEARD: When the mask is resting under the chin – Sometimes in public, people periodically lower the mask to their chin. This renders the mask useless and reduces all of its benefits. The mask should not be moved off of the nose or mouth for any time when unable to physical distance.

(sadly, there’s no picture for this one but we’re sure you’ll get the drift) THE MULLET: When the mask is behind the head like a backward baseball cap – Just because a mask is visible on someone’s head, does not mean they’re following protocol and staying protected. A mask worn at the back of your head is MOST DEFINITELY 100% INEFFECTIVE.

*** Please remember that just because you’re wearing a face covering doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also still take other safety measures, like frequent hand-washing and physical distancing. As country Victoria moves into the first weekend of Stage#3/Take#2 we hope everyone stays safe.

Page last updated: 15 December 2020

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