Face masks were once something you only saw when watching Grey’s Anatomy, but now they have become a daily means of protection against the Coronavirus.
With rules changing daily on the coronavirus spread, it can be hard to keep up with the current crisis and one thing many people are asking is, do we need to be wearing protective face masks?
Well, the short answer is, sort of.
On 11th May, the UK Government finally said that they do want the public to wear protective face “coverings”, which does include face masks. Although, this is only essential when on public transport and unavoidable enclosed spaces, such as a grocery shop. By wearing a protective face mask you are reducing the risk of transmitting the Coronavirus.
It’s important to note that medical-grade face masks and respirators should only be reserved for the NHS and frontline workers. The University of Edinburgh researched masks and found that by wearing any face mask (or covering) you are reducing your breathing distance by more than 90%. So by even earing a homemade mask you will aid in minimising the likelihood of infection.
Please remember that you still need to follow social-distancing rules and keep high standards of hygiene, including handwashing. Protective face masks are a benefit to reducing transmission of the Coronavirus but they are only effective alongside regular hand hygiene and social distancing.
SHOP FACE MASKS
Protective Face Masks FAQ
- WHAT FACE MASK DO I NEED?
As mentioned, respirators and medical-grade masks are reserved for the NHS and frontline workers but any other type of face mask will still have benefits. You can find many types of face maks online at the minute, plain styles, patterned or even branded. You can even give making your own a go, there are plenty of articles online about how to make your own face mask.
2. HOW DO I PUT ON AND TAKE OFF MY MASK?
- Firstly, before doing anything with a face mask you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (as stated by the NHS).
- Check the mask for any damage and determine which side is the front and which part is the top.
- Most store-bought masks will come with instructions which you should follow. However, many masks are applied by holding the nose area by the tips of your fingers and then bringing it forward to then apply the straps. DO NOT TOUCH THE INSIDE OF THE MASK.
- If you have had a face mask with ear loops and they need adjusting, tie a small knot in the loop to adjust
- Make sure that your mask is snug and there are no gaps. It’s imperative that you do not have any gaps so bacteria cannot travel.
- Once again, wash your hands before touching the mask.
- Do not touch the mask. Even the front of the mask will be contaminated.
- Only touch the ear loops or ties to remove the mask.
- If your mask is disposable, throw it away immediately. If your mask is reusable, either wash it right away or safely contain it until you can wash it.
- Then wash your hands thoroughly.
3. HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO CHANGE MY MASK?
The main rule with wearing a face mask is that it should only be worn once before being disposed of or washed. Generally, change your mask once it becomes wet or roughly every four hours.
4. CAN I WASH MY MASK?
Yes! If your mask is a reusable fabric mask you can wash them. It’s been reported that throwing it in with your other laundry is okay as long as it is on a hot wash, ideally 80°C – 100°C
5. WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR WEARING A MASK?
Of course. When wearing a mask you have to abide by certain practices or you are putting yourself and others at risk.
- Do not touch the front or inside of the mask, or touch your face as this will spread germs
- Make sure the mask is secure on your face with no gaps for air
- Do not lift your mask up or push down when talking or eating
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after touching your mask