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Hygiene Tips for Face Masks

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With the CDC recommending we all wear non-surgical face masks when leaving our homes to carry out essential business, many of us are taking heed of the advice and covering our mouth and noses when out in public.

When it comes to wearing a mask, however, there are certain hygiene tips we should follow to make sure we stay as safe as possible from the coronavirus.

While face masks can help prevent the spread of germs caused by coughing and sneezing, it’s important to remember when wearing a mask not to touch the outside, or inside of the mask.

Putting on the Mask

Wash hands for 20 seconds with hot water and soap. Avoid touching the inside of your mask (the part that will be placed against your nose and mouth) and secure the mask to your head by handling the mask on its sides. Make sure the mask securely covers your nose, mouth and chin.

Removing the Mask

Once again you will want to wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and hot water. Do not touch the front of the mask (it could be contaminated). Instead, remove the mask from behind. If the mask is disposable, throw it away immediately. If your mask is reusable wash in hot water and soap right away. Finally, wash your hands again with soap and hot water.

Reusable Face Masks and Laundering

The Philadelphia Health Department recommends cleaning masks using hot water and regular laundry detergent, and then drying them on the hottest setting on your dryer.

The CDC encourages everyone to wear a non-surgical face mask but wants to remind people they are not a substitute for practicing social distancing, standing six feet apart when in public places, and washing hands regularly.


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