Public Health Recommendations on How to Use a Face Mask Properly
Cloth face coverings and manufactured face masks are not considered personal protection equipment (PPE), but these masks can be used in public settings in addition to social distancing and hand hygiene to limit the spread of COVID-19.
According to a report from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, a person may choose to wear a cloth face covering when out in public especially in areas of significant community-based transmission, but cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under 2 years old. Medical grade masks should not be used in public. Additionally, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the covering without assistance should not wear a covering.
It is also very important to wash or sanitize your hands before and after touching or adjusting the face cover. The face cover should be washed in hot water after daily use and laid flat to air dry. The individual should avoid touching their mouth, nose and eyes.
Below is a list of steps to putting on and off a cloth face covering:
- Before putting on the covering, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or rub your hands together thoroughly with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Holding the covering by the ear loops, make sure the metallic strip is at the top of the covering and positioned against the bridge of your nose.
- Hold the covering by both ear loops and place one loop over each ear.
- Mold the bendable metallic upper strip to the shape of your nose by pinching and pressing down on it with your fingers.
- Pull the bottom of the covering over your mouth and chin.
- Be sure the mask fits snugly.
- Don’t touch the covering or your face once in position.
- After taking off the covering, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or rub your hands together thoroughly with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
The following video from the Minnesota Department of Health demonstrates how to properly put on and take off a face mask: