CDC: Select, wear and clean masks with care

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ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Preention recommends that you wear masks in public settings around people who don’t live in your household and when you can’t stay 6 feet away from others.

Research has shown the COVID-19 virus is spread in the droplets of moisture that leave the nose and mouth when a person who is COVID-19 positive talks, coughs or sneezes. Since many of those who are COVID-19 have no symptoms and do not realize they are infected, it is important for everyone to wear cloth masks in public to prevent the spread of the virus.

Your masks help protect others from you, should you be infected and not realize it. Others’ masks help protect you from them.

Masks help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others when worn properly.
• Wear masks with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19.
• Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
• Masks should be worn by people 2 years and older
• Masks should NOT be worn by children younger than 2, people who have trouble breathing, or people who cannot remove the mask without assistance.
• Do NOT wear masks intended for health care workers, for example, N95 respirators.
Wear a mask correctly and consistently for the best protection.
• Be sure to wash your hands before putting on a mask.
• Do NOT touch the mask when wearing it.
Do wear a mask that:
• Covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin; and,
• Fits snugly against the sides of your face.
Masks should be washed regularly. Always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.
• Include your mask with your regular laundry.
• Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask.
• Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry or line dry in direct sunlight.

Simple masks can be made at home using washable, breathable fabric and may help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC warns that neck gaiters and face shields are not replacements for cloth masks. Face shields may offer additional protection when worn with a mask. Neck gaiters are under study by the CDC.

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