Wearing a face mask or covering may not protect you from COVID-19, but it may protect others from your respiratory droplets and germs. The best protection is to stay home, keep six feet from others and wash your hands often. However, if you are unable to maintain a two metre (six feet) distance from others, such as on transit, in an elevator, grocery shopping or entering and leaving your apartment building, a face mask or covering can be used.
You can make your own mask with materials you already have at home (e.g. cotton t-shirt or pillowcase) or use a scarf or bandana to cover your face.
How to Safely Wear a Mask or Face Covering
- Wash your hands before putting it on and taking it off
- Make sure it fits to cover your mouth and nose snugly; there should be no gapping
- Change your mask as soon as it gets damp or soiled
- Cloth masks can be laundered with other items using a hot cycle, and then dried thoroughly
- If you wear your mask daily, it should be laundered daily
- Discard non-reusable masks in a lined garbage
- Clean surfaces that a dirty mask touches
- Avoid touching your face and mask while using it
- Do not share your mask with others
- Do not leave your mask around your neck, hanging from your ear, or on your forehead
- Do not put your used mask in your pocket. Put it in a plastic bag until you can wash it
How to Safely Take a Mask Off
- Remove the mask without touching the side that faces outwards
- Put the mask directly in the laundry to be cleaned or a lined bin to be discarded
- Wash your hands thoroughly
Who Should Not Wear a Mask or Face Covering
- Children under the age of two
- Anyone who has trouble breathing
- Anyone unable to remove the mask without assistance
Wearing a Mask at Work
Follow instructions provided by your employer regarding the option of choosing to wear a non-medical mask or face covering.
Do Not Use Medical-Grade Masks
It is extremely important that we keep the supply of medical masks for healthcare workers where they are urgently needed for medical procedures, and to care for individuals who have COVID-19. Healthcare workers need medical masks, including N95 and surgical masks.