What are non-medical masks:
Non-medical masks (also known as fabric masks, home-made masks, DIY masks) can act as a barrier to prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others.
They can be purchased commercially or handmade, and are generally not standardized like medical masks. There are numerous types of fabric masks, they should cover the nose, mouth, and chin and be secured with elastic loops or ties, include multiple layers, be washable and reusable.
Remember, the use of a fabric mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection. Maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, frequently clean your hands and continue to avoid touching your face and the mask.
Using a fabric mask:
- Clean your hands before putting on the mask.
- Inspect the mask for tears or holes, do not use a mask that is damaged.
- Adjust the mask to cover your mouth, nose, and chin, leaving no gaps on the sides.
- Avoid touching the mask while wearing it.
- Change your mask if it gets dirty or wet.
- Clean your hands before taking off the mask.
- Take off the mask by removing it from the ear loops, without touching the front of the mask.
- Clean your hands after removing the mask.
Caring for a fabric mask:
- If your fabric mask is not dirty or wet and you plan to reuse it, put it in a clean plastic, resealable bag. If you need to use it again, hold the mask at the elastic loops when removing it from the bag.
- Wash fabric masks in soap or detergent and preferably hot water (at least 60 degrees) at least once a day.
- If hot water is not available, wash the mask in soap/detergent and room-temperature water, followed by either boiling the mask for 1 minute OR; by soaking the mask in 0.1% chlorine for 1 minute and thoroughly rinsing the mask with room temperature water (there should not be any toxic residue of chlorine on the mask).
- Make sure you have your own mask and do not share it with others.
Remember, the use of a fabric mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection. Maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 1 metre from others and frequently clean your hands.
Fabric Mask Options:
Reference: World Health Organization