Masks are effective only if you wear them properly. Here's the right (and wrong) way

So, about masks -- they do next to nothing if you don't wear them properly.Yep, even the cloth coverings touted as the...

Posted: Jul 7, 2020 12:15 PM
Updated: Jul 7, 2020 12:18 PM

So, about masks -- they do next to nothing if you don't wear them properly.

Yep, even the cloth coverings touted as the best thing since social distancing have instructions. We've laid them out below, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

And remember: Masks are effective only if they cover your mouth, nose and chin. And however tempting it may be to remove your mask for a moment, doing that could expose your fingers and face to the very virus you're trying to avoid.

Keep that and more in mind when wearing your mask -- If we all do it right, we could save 33,000 lives.

How to properly wear a mask

Wash your hands and grab a clean cloth mask.

  • Follow the steps to properly wash hands. (If you've forgotten the multi-step process, read our refresher here.
  • Only wear clean, breathable face masks. Re-wearing the same mask could expose you to contaminants.

Put on your mask, holding it by the ear loops.

  • Your mask should also fit snugly against the sides of your face -- no open flaps. But it shouldn't be so tight that it's difficult to breathe through.
  • Your mask may have a wired side, meant to adhere to the shape of your nose. Press down on it over your nose for a more comfortable fit.

Make sure your nose, mouth and chin are covered.

  • If your mask has pleats, they should open downward.
  • Pull your mask up so it covers your nose, and tug it down so it covers your mouth.
  • After you've put your mask on, don't touch it again until it's time to take it off.

How not to wear a mask

Beware of these three familiar mask mistakes:

1. It's too loose. If your mask has large openings around your nose, mouth and the sides of your face, it can't effectively protect you from viruses that can slip through those cracks. Your mask should fit snugly against your face.

2. You forgot your nose. Your nose needs to stay inside your mask -- the virus is respiratory and travels through the air, and you could breathe it in.

3. You put it back on and touched it. You shouldn't take your mask off for a break when you're still in public. It's hot, sure, but it's also possible you could contaminate your mouth or face with any germs your mask caught.

How to properly take off your mask

Take off your mask by the ear loops.

  • When your voyage into the public world is complete, remove your mask by the ear loops only.
  • Don't touch the front of your mask -- it could be contaminated.
  • Make sure you hold the mask away from your face as you remove it.

Store your mask immediately

  • If you're not immediately going to wash your mask after you use it, place it in a clean, resealable plastic bag. Pick it up by the ear loops to place it inside the bag, and store the bag in a cool, clean place.

Wash your hands again ... and again ...

  • It's become a pandemic mantra -- wash your hands immediately after removing the mask. Wash your hands while you're wearing it, too. Just wash your hands often and thoroughly when you're out in the world and when you return, and you'll weaken the chances the virus will stick around.


READ: How to make your own face mask (whether or not you know how to sew)

READ: How to stop your glasses from fogging up when you wear a mask

READ: The best DIY face mask material and fit

READ: These are the states requiring people to wear masks when out in public

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 75862

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16088730
Lake7688278
Elkhart492685
Allen4002163
St. Joseph357883
Hamilton2829104
Vanderburgh202213
Hendricks1927108
Cass18029
Johnson1789119
Porter135539
Clark128749
Tippecanoe123811
Madison100665
LaPorte93130
Howard91365
Kosciusko86812
Bartholomew81747
Floyd80948
Marshall79323
Monroe76631
Delaware74552
Dubois70812
Vigo69911
Noble68829
Boone68746
Hancock68339
Jackson5965
Warrick58830
Shelby56527
LaGrange56310
Grant52930
Dearborn51228
Morgan49334
Clinton4444
Henry40620
Wayne38510
White37611
Montgomery35921
Lawrence35227
Harrison34823
Decatur34132
Putnam3128
Daviess27720
Miami2772
Scott27210
Jasper2552
Greene25434
Franklin24615
DeKalb2384
Gibson2314
Jennings22712
Steuben2133
Ripley2138
Carroll1962
Fayette1947
Perry18713
Posey1790
Starke1787
Wells1742
Orange17424
Fulton1722
Wabash1703
Jefferson1672
Knox1610
Whitley1556
Tipton14312
Washington1421
Sullivan1381
Spencer1373
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1244
Newton12010
Adams1092
Owen991
Jay920
Rush854
Pulaski811
Fountain742
Brown741
Blackford652
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike590
Vermillion580
Switzerland530
Parke511
Martin480
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 102826

Reported Deaths: 3708
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18697529
Cuyahoga13734505
Hamilton9766257
Lucas5448326
Montgomery443896
Summit3614223
Butler297663
Marion293545
Mahoning2595255
Pickaway239142
Stark1884140
Warren182139
Lorain181377
Columbiana167160
Trumbull1549108
Fairfield141632
Delaware134419
Licking131951
Clark117815
Lake113141
Wood106858
Clermont95311
Medina94535
Miami85839
Tuscarawas79314
Portage77163
Allen76946
Greene71812
Mercer63113
Belmont62326
Richland61412
Erie59728
Ashtabula57646
Geauga55944
Wayne54558
Ross4944
Darke40629
Huron4045
Madison40110
Ottawa39626
Sandusky39017
Hancock3893
Athens3602
Holmes3286
Lawrence3000
Auglaize2636
Union2601
Muskingum2431
Scioto2421
Jefferson2373
Seneca2283
Knox2127
Putnam21117
Shelby2104
Washington20922
Preble2072
Coshocton1967
Champaign1812
Morrow1762
Crawford1755
Hardin17012
Clinton1696
Highland1661
Logan1602
Ashland1543
Fulton1531
Wyandot1509
Defiance1504
Brown1462
Perry1403
Williams1363
Henry1222
Fayette1210
Guernsey1197
Hocking1189
Carroll1135
Monroe9418
Pike790
Jackson760
Van Wert732
Paulding700
Gallia701
Adams612
Meigs540
Vinton322
Morgan300
Harrison261
Noble160
Unassigned00
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