Face Masks

Expert Explains How to Make, Properly Use Face Coverings

Masks can be made of anything you have at home, from an old t-shirt to a pillow cover.

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And it’s really about everyone doing their part to help slow the spread of the virus.

“It’s important to make sure the covering is tight over your nose and covering your mouth as completely as possible,” said Dr. Summer Johnson McGee, the University of New Haven School of Health Sciences dean.

McGee explains the main benefit of wearing a face covering is not that it really protects you from the coronavirus but that it protects others nearby in case you are sick.

“With up to 50 percent of people being asymptomatic carriers of this virus and spreading it unknowingly it’s really important that absolutely everyone when they go out of their house take that precaution to prevent accidentally spreading it to others," said McGee.

Here’s her advice for wearing face masks:

  1. If you’re making your own, choose a fabric that is tightly woven, creating double or triple layers.
  2. After putting the mask on, don’t touch it until you’re ready to take it off since the virus might be on it.
  3. Make sure to properly clean it after wearing it.

“It’s important when you’re taking your mask off if you’ve been outside to disinfect, wash the mask with warm, soapy water and once you’ve completed that to of course wash your hands to remove any virus particles that may have been on the outside of the mask from your hands,” said Dr. McGee.

McGee reminds people that masks are permeable and don’t make you invincible. So just because you’re wearing one doesn’t mean you can go back to normal ways.

“It’s another method of protecting yourself. But the very best method we have is social distancing and hand washing. So don’t let it change your behavior. It’s an additional protection for when you do have to go outside for those necessary trips that you can use to give yourself an extra level of protection,” said Dr. McGee.

Experts say you can add a filter to the mask. What it’s potentially good for is adding another layer between you and others.

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