COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets travel into the air when you cough, sneeze, talk, shout, or sing. These droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of people who are near you or they may breathe these droplets in.
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.
Your mask should:
- Reach above the nose, below the chin, and completely cover the mouth and nostrils
- Fit snugly against the sides of the face Be made of multiple layers of fabric that you can still breathe through
- Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damaging the material or shape
Do not buy surgical masks to use as a mask. Those are intended for healthcare workers and first responders.
If these tips don’t help or you have concerns about wearing a mask, talk with your doctor about how to protect yourself and others during the pandemic.