5 Common COVID-19 Mask Mistakes

Mask Mistakes
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The mask is the star accessory of 2020 and comes in a variety of patterns, bedazzled with rhinestones or supporting your favorite team or political view.

Whatever your feelings about masks, they are a key component in the steps people should take to protect themselves from the potentially lethal COVID-19 virus, which is still gripping the nation. They are not going away anytime soon.

“Connecticut has shown tremendous discipline in social distancing and wearing the masks and that’s why our transmission rate is so low and the number of cases in the state is so low,” said Dr. Kenneth Robinson, chief of the Hartford Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine. “I’d plead with the people of Connecticut to just hold on. We’re doing the right things.”

Among the legions of mask wearers, however, are mistakes being made that leave people unprotected and in danger of COVID-19 infection.

Here are the most common mask mistakes:

  1. Not keeping it clean. Wash your mask in hot water after every use, even if it’s not visibly dirty. Try changing masks every few hours to keep the viral particles away.
  2. Putting it down places. Cross-contamination occurs when you take a mask you’ve worn – and contaminated – and put it down on a desk, table or even in your purse where it can come into contact with other germs.
  3. Baring too much. Masks should cover from your nose to your chin for maximum protection for yourself and others.
  4. Improperly storing it. When you can safely take your mask off, don’t put it in a plastic bag. Plastic doesn’t breathe and infectious bacteria can grow. Instead, stash it in a paper lunch bag or an envelope for breathability. At home, don’t keep masks in the kitchen or laundry room, where the air is moister and allows bacteria to breed.
  5. Touching it while wearing it. Your hands can transfer germs to the mask. Put it on and take it off by touching the ear loops only.

Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider for guidance and try to avoid going directly to an emergency department or urgent care center, as this could increase the chances of the disease spreading.

Click here to schedule a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care provider.

Stay with Hartford HealthCare for everything you need to know about the coronavirus threat. Click here for information updated daily.

Questions? Call our 24-hour hotline (860.972.8100 or, toll-free, 833.621.0600). 

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