The world these days is gripped with the fear of Coronavirus and face masks are a very important component to save us from catching an infection. But due to the pandemic, the world is facing a shortage of these masks and hence judicious use of face masks is paramount.
So, we are sharing tips not just on how to judiciously use face masks but how to reuse, disinfect and discard this essential but biohazard commodity.
Please fit the mask snugly around the nose and it must be completely covering your nose and mouth and not just hanging loosely around the neck otherwise the purpose of using the mask is defeated. Don’t ever touch the front surface of the mask as that’s the contaminated portion.
If you are ordering face mask online, buy them from reputable websites. There are many companies now offer same day shipping on all orders placed on 1pm EST. So just grab the deal before it ends.
How to dispose of a used mask? (Remember masks should be treated as medical waste)
Different germs can survive on a used mask for different durations. Experts feel that viruses, when left exposed, can survive between a few hours and a few days.
Also, some people are picking them up for re-use and hence putting their life in danger. The infected masks have respiratory secretions on them and can be dispersed and transmitted through the air.
So, please be sensitive. Always wash your hands before and after taking off the mask.
Cloth mask (Wash) –
Should be washed properly and frequently and left to hang and air dry.
- Surgical mask (Fold, tie, wrap) –
It should be removed chin upwards and please take care to remove it from the strings and be careful not to touch the front portion while taking off the mask. After taking the mask off, please fold it half inwards, such that droplets from mouth and nose are not exposed.
Then, fold the mask into another half, until it looks like a roll. The mask can also be wrapped with its ear loops so that it will not unravel. Then wrap the mask in a tissue paper or polythene bag and immediately discard it in the yellow waste bag. Keep the things handy before disposing of them.
- N95 respirator –
When removing the mask, hold the edge of the straps attached to take of the N95 mask. Don’t touch the inside part of the respirator. Wash hands before and after it. Gently remove the mask so as not to disseminate contaminants on the mask. Place the mask in a plastic bag or zip-lock bag.
You can also store them in a breathable container such as a paper bag between uses. Secure the bag tightly. Place the plastic bag into the garbage can or biomedical waste disposal unit. Never put on a new mask until you have properly washed your hands.