Understanding The Differences Between Masks
Along with practicing social distancing of 6 ft or more and frequently washing your hands, the CDC recommends wearing a mask or face covering to both protect yourself and others around you from contracting COVID-19. It is known that the virus is spread through being in close contact with others (within a 6 ft distance), as the virus travels through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks and can then be inhaled through the lungs. While anyone who is showing symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19 should quarantine themselves at home away from others, those who are asymptomatic (infected but show no symptoms) can still pass along the virus and should always wear a proper face covering when out in public.
Knowing which mask to purchase, and how to properly wear and care for them can be complicated. We’re breaking it all down for you so that you can feel confident and safe during this uncertain time.
What type of mask should I buy?
If you are looking for the most effective protection, we recommend investing in either a 3-Ply Face Mask or KN95 Face Mask. While a simple cloth face covering is helpful in preventing you from spreading the virus to others, it is not as effective at preventing you from contracting it yourself. The 3-Ply and KN95 masks, however, will both protect you and prevent you from spreading the virus during use.
Where can I purchase a mask?
You can purchase a set of disposable 3-Ply Face Masks here for $12.95
You can purchase a set of disposable KN95 Face Masks here for $21.95
How do I properly put on my mask?
(instructions provided by the CDC)
- Wash hands before placing mask on your face
- 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
It is important to note that children under 2 years of age, anyone with breathing issues, or those who are unable to remove the mask independently should not wear face coverings.
Where should I wear my mask?
You should always wear your mask when leaving your home. Wearing a mask when out in public helps to prevent you from contracting the virus as well as anyone infected from spreading it.
While those who are showing symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 should quarantine themselves at home away from others, those who are asymptomatic can still pass along the virus and should wear a mask whenever leaving your home and will be in close proximity to others.
How long can I wear my mask?
It is only recommended to wear a disposable mask for up to 8 - 24 hours of use.
Can I disinfect my mask for reuse?
It is not recommended to reuse disposable face masks. However, disposable masks may be worn multiple times if properly cared for. Most importantly, you must ensure that your mask is not carrying COVID-19 before placing it back on your face. To do that, you can carefully place your mask into a paper pag, ziplock bag, or tupperware container in a warm place for a few days to ensure the virus has been deactivated. You should always wash your hands after removing or handling your mask.
What else should I do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Wash Your Hands. While the virus can be spread through water droplets and inhaled, it can also live on surfaces from anywhere to a few hours to a few days depending on the surface material. Because of this, you should frequently be sanitizing and washing your hands or wearing gloves.
Self Quarantine. As we have mentioned, if you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19, have tested positive, or been in contact with anyone who has tested positive, it is important to quarantine yourself at home away from others for at least two weeks.
Even those who are not experiencing any symptoms should be staying home as much as possible. While wearing masks and gloves is proven to be effective in preventing the contraction and spread of COVID-19, the best thing you can do is limit how much you are going into public. Many grocery stores and restaurants are offering home delivery to make staying home even easier!
Wear Protective Gear. When you do have to go out into public, wear your protective gear. It is important to remember that wearing protective gear is not just about protecting yourself. It is a crucial step in protecting your friends, family, and all others you come into contact with. Wearing your mask and gloves is the one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.