Wearing masks correctly, or incorrectly has become a new normal for some.
East Grampians Health Service Chief Executive Andrew Freeman said there has been some confusion in the community on how to correctly wear masks.
He offered some guidance to the Ararat region, as provided by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website:
- 1. Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub (made up of over 60% alcohol or 70% isopropanol) before you put on your mask.
- 2. Hold the mask by its tapes or loops, then tie the mask around your head or put the loops around your ears.
- 3. Make sure the mask completely covers your mouth and nose, and that there are no gaps between your face and the mask. If you are using a surgical mask, press the nose piece around your nose.
If you are using a mask with ear loops, you can use a plastic clip or tie to join the ends together at the back of your head to make sure it fits securely on your face.
Make sure that your mask does not have holes or a valve, as if you have COVID-19, you can breathe out the virus.
Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth or the front of the mask while wearing it.
If the mask gets soiled or damp, replace it with a new one - you must not reuse a surgical mask once worn.
You can wash and re-use cloth masks. It is a good idea to have at least two, so you will always have a clean one.
When ready to take off your mask:
- 1. Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub (made up of over 60% alcohol or 70% isopropanol) before you take off your mask.
- 2. Take the mask off from behind your head by pulling the tapes or loops straightforward and moving the mask away from your face. Do not touch the front of the mask.
- 3. If you are using a surgical mask, throw the mask in the bin. If you are using a cloth mask, put it straight in the laundry or store used face masks in a plastic bag until you can wash them.
- 4. Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub after you take off your mask and throw it away or store it to wash.
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