64ºF

Masks 101: Everything from mistakes to avoid to how to store your face covering

Director of Duval County health department says many not wearing their mask correctly or wearing the wrong mask

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In order for a face mask to be effective, it must cover the mouth and nose — period.

We have seen people frequently wearing their face covering over their mouth but below their nose.

“It is definitely not the way to wear it. It reduces protection,” explained Dr. Pauline Rolle, director of the Florida Department of Health in Duval County, who joined “The Morning Show” on Monday. “The whole point of the mask is to keep me from spreading it to someone else if I have COVID. So folks wearing it below their nose, which is what we often see, they still breathe out that virus.”

Wearing and removing a face mask

The purpose of a mask is to catch the virus so it is not expelled into the air. When wearing it or removing it, Rolle said, you need to avoid touching the inside where that virus could be trapped so you don’t spread it.

“It is important that you grab it by the ear loops,” she explained.

Storing your mask when it is removed

As students return to class, most are required to wear masks on campus and on the school bus, although they are allowed to remove them when they eat lunch.

To avoid contaminating their masks, Rolle demonstrated how the mask should be stored.

“Ideally, in a plastic bag,” she said. “So once they take the mask off, they should fold it like this (in half) and hold it at the end (near the ear loops) and put it in a plastic bag.”

Most effective mask for the public

Rolle said cloth masks are effective, especially the ones that have a pouch that allows you to put a filter inside. But you do need to make sure you wash them every day.

“Don’t wear the same mask every day if it has not been washed, and make sure you change the filter, as well,” Rolle explained.

Masks with exhalation valves or vents should be avoided

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these kinds of masks are not recommended since they can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the coronavirus.


About the Author: