How to wear cloth face coverings
Published on June 04, 2020
Cloth face coverings are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with everyday preventive actions and social distancing in public settings.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention shared these tips for wearing cloth face coverings:
Wear your face covering correctly
- Wash your hands before putting on a face covering.
- 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.
Use a face covering to protect others
- Wear a face covering to help protect others in case you’re infected but don’t have symptoms.
- Keep the covering on your face the entire time you’re in public.
- Don’t put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead.
- Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands.
Follow everyday health habits
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Remove your cloth face covering carefully
- Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops.
- Handle only by the ear loops or ties.
- Fold outside corners together.
- Place the covering in the washing machine. Learn more about washing cloth face coverings.
- Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing the face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.
Who should not use cloth face coverings? Children under age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Keep in mind, cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. These must be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders, as recommended in CDC guidance.