Do’s And Don’ts Of Mask-Wearing During Colorado’s Coronavirus Outbreak
posted by: Mile High Mamas
Now that masks are recommended for everyone who’s out and about, new questions are coming in from Colorado Wonders and other channels about mask etiquette and efficacy.
What should people look for in masks?
The key thing is covering the nose and mouth securely. Ideally with something that can hold the mask over the shape of the bridge of the nose.
This is important because one of the main reasons officials decided to recommend masks for the general public of increasing evidence that people who don’t have symptoms could be shedding the virus through coughs, sneezes or even just breathing. In fact, it seems some people could have the virus and be spreading it up to 48 hours before they even show symptoms, so officials decided if everyone masked up, it could help.
The state has teamed up with The Colorado Mask Project to offer a range of mask-making ideas.
Why DIY Masks
Research shows that DIY masks can help block the spread of
COVID-19, especially by preventing people who are asymptomatically infected from spreading the disease unknowingly. That’s why government officials—including Governor Jared Polis—are recommending their widespread use.
However, given the current mask shortages impacting medical professionals, it’s essential that the general public leaves the supply of N95 medical masks to healthcare workers.
That’s how DIY masks can help! By providing every Coloradan with a DIY mask, we can protect medical professionals on the front lines, help flatten the curve—and most importantly keep each other safe.
How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering
Cloth face coverings should—
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?
Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.
How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.
How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.
How to Get Involved
To provide all Coloradoans with DIY makes, the COlorado Mask Project needs your support. Learn How to Help.