COVID-19 & Face Masks
Many people are using face masks to prevent catching or passing on COVID-19. There is a lot of information on how to prevent the virus. Effective strategies include: staying 1.5 metres apart by physical distancing, frequently washing hands, and staying home when you feel unwell. Face coverings, such as masks, add an additional protective physical barrier to protect you and those around you.
UPDATE: The use of masks and face coverings is mandatory in certain settings in Victoria. Head to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services page for more information
TIPS WHEN USING A MASK
Here are some points to consider when using a face mask.
- Before fitting your face mask, wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Alternatively use a hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol.
- When putting the mask on, don't touch the mask itself with your hands. Only hold it by the ties or loops used to secure it. If the mask has ear loops, hold the mask by both ear loops and place one loop over each ear. If it has ties, tie the upper strings in a secure bow near the crown of your head. Tie the bottom strings securely in a bow near the nape of your neck.
- Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin. Be sure that the mask fits snugly. Don't touch the mask once it's in position. If the mask gets soiled or damp, replace it with a new one. Once you have the mask on, don't pull it down or hang it around your neck.
- Don't touch the mask once it's secured on your face, as the mask may have virus particles on it. If you do have to touch the face mask while you are wearing it, wash your hands first. Be sure to wash your hands afterward or use a hand sanitiser. If using cloth masks, have at least two masks and cycle them, washing each one after each single use. Do not share your masks with others.
- It's very important to remember that a face mask will not protect your eyes. It is possible for the virus to enter the body through the eyes. It is important to remember not to touch your eyes or face if you are out in public. And remember to wash your hands regularly throughout the day.
- Before you take off the mask wash your hands well or use a hand sanitiser. Avoid touching the mask itself, remove it by holding the ties or loops only. After removing the mask, wash your hands thoroughly or use a hand sanitiser. If it's a surgical mask, dispose of it with care. If it's a cloth mask, put it in the wash immediately and wash with detergent, hot water, and bleach.
MAKE YOUR OWN FACE MASK
While you can use purchase and use disposable surgical masks or reusable cloth masks, making your own can be a cost effective solution. Here are some options for making your own cloth mask.