Masks are a simple barrier to help prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others. Studies show that masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. You should wear a mask, even if you do not feel sick.

How to Select

DO choose masks that

DO choose masks that have 2 or more layers of washable, breathable fabric graphic.

Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric

DO choose masks that completely cover your nose and mouth;

Completely cover your nose and mouth

DO choose masks that fit snugly against the sides of your face and don't have gaps.

Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps

Girl with glasses and mask

Have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask


DO NOT choose masks that

DO NOT choose masks that are made of fabric that makes it hard to breath, for example, vinyl

Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, for example, vinyl

DO NOT choose masks that have exhalation valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape

Have exhalation valves or vents that allow virus particles to escape

DO NOT choose masks that are intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators or surgical masks

Are intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators


Special Considerations

Gaiters & face shields

graphic of a man wearing a gaiter

Wear a gaiter with two layers, or fold it to make two layers

graphic of a woman with a face shield

Not recommended: Evaluation of face shields is ongoing, but effectiveness is unknown at this time.


Children

graphic of girl wearing a pink mask

Find a mask that is made for children to help ensure proper fit

graphic of a boy wearing a blue mask

Check to be sure the mask fits snugly over the nose and mouth and under the chin and that there are no gaps around the sides

graphic of a girl wearing a blue mask

Do NOT put on children younger than 2 years old


Do wear a mask that

Do wear a mask that: Covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin; Fits snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Fits snugly against the sides of your face.

How NOT to wear a mask

How to take off a mask

How to Clean

Reusable masks should be washed regularly. Always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.

  • Include your mask with your regular laundry
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask
  • Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry

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