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Facial Coverings FAQ

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Dos and Don'ts

Woman wearing a facial covering.

Facial coverings are only effective for protection if they are handled, worn, stored and disposed of properly. And experts continue to strongly urge everyone to maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing when possible — even with the use of facial coverings.

Facial coverings limit the transmission of respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes Covid-19. They are an integral part of recognized suppressive measures that include physical distancing which includes avoidance of crowds, good hand hygiene, surface disinfecting, and immediate quarantine if you develop sign or symptoms of this virus.

  • Do practice proper hand hygiene. Before and after handling the covering (to put on, adjust, or take off), either wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to reduce cross-contamination risk. The outside of the covering is considered dirty.
  • Do mark the outside of the covering in some way so you can easily identify which side is the outside and handle it accordingly. Some individuals mark the outside with their initials in permanent ink.
  • Do keep a paper bag handy for storing the covering every time you take it off; an open plastic Ziploc-style baggie is an alternative if a paper bag is not available. Always store in a clean place. Never store it in a purse or pocket.
  • Do clean reusable facial coverings frequently and have extra ones available so there is a clean one available for use.

  • Don’t touch the outside of your covering while it is on your face.
  • Don’t pull your covering below your chin while you are wearing it. Leaving it dangling or improperly fitted to your face creates opportunities for cross-contamination.

Additional information about how to wear and clean facial coverings may be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

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