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SCS | How to Wear Masks

Masks are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day preventive actions and social distancing in public settings.

Masks are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with every day preventive actions and social distancing in public settings.

  • CDC recommends that people wear masks in public and when around people who don’t live in your household.
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.

Wear your Mask Correctly

fitting a cloth facemask to your face. The mask should cover from below your chin to above your nose, and be pinched to fit the bridge of your nose snugly.

  • Wash your hands before putting on your mask
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
  • Make sure you can breathe easily
  • CDC does not recommend use of masks or cloth masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent

Wear a Mask to Protect Others

Image of people wearing masks correctly and other people wearing them incorrectly.

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect others in case you’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms
  • Wear a mask in public settings when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when it may be difficult for you to stay six feet apart
  • Wear a mask correctly for maximum protection
  • Don’t put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead
  • Don’t touch the mask, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect​

Follow Everyday Health Habits

  • Stay at least 3-6 feet away from others (depending on the setting)
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

Take Off Your Mask Carefully, When You’re Home

  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
  • Handle only by the ear loops or ties
  • Fold outside corners together
  • Place mask in the washing machine (learn more about how to wash masks)
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.