Don’t Make These 5 Mask Mistakes

Mask MistakesImagine if Batman’s mask slipped or Spiderman’s red face covering had holes. Their identities would be revealed, endangering their ability to fight crime.

Similarly, wearing cloth face coverings or masks incorrectly may thwart your mission to protect your community. Avoid these common mistakes to save the day by slowing the spread of COVID-19:

1. Exposing Your Nose or Chin
Droplets that may contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus spray from your nose and mouth. To seal them in, your mask must cover these features and fit snugly over your chin. If you drop the mask around your neck or push it up to your forehead, droplets can escape.

2. Cross-Contaminating Your Hands and Mask
Wash your hands before putting on your mask. Then, try not to touch it. If you must adjust your mask, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after. This way, you won’t transfer germs between your hands and the mask.

3. Removing Your Mask Improperly
When you arrive home, take off your mask carefully. Don’t touch the fabric itself—instead, untie the strings or slip off the ear loops. Fold the mask, corner to corner, and place it in the laundry.

4. Re-Wearing a Dirty Mask
Wash masks between each use. You can throw them in with your regular laundry and standard detergent. Use the warmest setting appropriate for each fabric type.

Machine-dry masks or lay them flat, preferably in direct sunlight. Make sure they’re completely dry before using. Wet masks may be less effective.

5. Neglecting Other Measures
Masks work best in combination with other preventive steps. Keep your distance—at least 6 feet—from people outside your household.

Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, remembering to suds up between your fingers and under your nails. If you’re away from the sink, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

For more info about masks, proper hygiene, and how to stay safe during the pandemic, visit our coronavirus FAQ page.