Wearing a mask

Wear a mask over your nose and mouth anytime you are around people who you don’t live with or stay with, and when you are in public. Wearing a mask helps to protect you by making it harder for COVID-19 to reach your nose and mouth.

To use a mask:

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on your mask.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with the mask.
  • Fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face, slipping the strings over your ears or behind your head.
  • If the mask has a nose clip, squeeze it to fit the top of your nose.
  • If you wear glasses, tuck the edge of your mask under your glasses to stop them from fogging up.
  • If you have to adjust your mask often, find a different mask that fits you better. You can make a mask fit more tightly by twisting the ear loops before putting them over your ears.
  • Make sure you can breathe easily.
  • To remove your mask, touch only the ear loops or strings. Fold the edges together, with the part that touched your mouth on the outside. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing your mask.
  • If your mask is disposable, throw it in a trash can. If your mask is reusable, put it in a bag until you can wash it.
  • Wash your hands afterward.

Tip: Keep spare masks with you, in case you need an extra for yourself or someone else.

More tips from CDC about how to wear a mask

When to wear a mask:

  • Wear a mask around people who you don’t live with or stay with, and when you are in public.
  • It is especially important to wear a mask when indoors, and when you are closer than six feet to people who you don’t live with or stay with.
  • If you are sick or test positive for COVID-19, you should also wear a mask around the people you live with or stay with.
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under age 2, or by anyone who has trouble breathing or cannot remove the mask without help.

It’s also important to find a mask that fits snugly over your nose and mouth.
Tips from CDC about how to choose a mask

You can buy masks at many stores, or you can make a simple mask yourself.
Tips from CDC on how to make a mask

If you want to add more layers of protection, you can wear a disposable mask underneath a cloth mask. This is called double masking. It gives you extra layers, and can also help your mask fit more snugly. Do not wear two disposable masks together. Do not wear an N95 or KN95 mask with another mask.

Cloth masks can be washed and used again. Disposable masks should be thrown in the trash after use.
Tips from CDC about how to wash and store cloth masks

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