Last modified: 
07/29/2021 - 08:47

Masking is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Hundreds of contagious droplets can be generated by just speaking to someone, but nearly all of them are blocked when wearing a mask. When masking is normalized (common practice) in communities, studies show that COVID-19 cases are significantly reduced. Masking is most important in crowded settings where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.

COVID-19 spreads in the air far more easily than by surface. To protect yourself and others, wear a non-medical mask or face covering:

  • Anytime it is required by a business or service
  • Indoors in crowded places
  • Indoors in a location with poor ventilation
  • Indoors where there is shouting, singing, playing music (especially wind instruments) or exercise (if applicable) 
  • Outdoors in crowded spaces when it is difficult to maintain physical distance.

Material, structure and fit

Well-designed and well-fitting masks or face coverings can prevent the spread of infectious respiratory droplets. 

Masks should be:

  • At least three layers of cloth
    • Two layers should be tightly woven material fabric, such as cotton or linen
    • The third (middle) layer should be a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric
  • Large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose, mouth and chin without gaping
  • Allow easy breathing
  • Fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • Be comfortable and not require frequent adjustments
  • Be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • Maintain its shape after washing and drying

Masks aren't recommended for:

  • People who suffer from illnesses or disabilities that make it difficult to put on or take off a mask
  • Those who have difficulty breathing
  • Children under the age of two years
  • Those who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance