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How to Use a Face Mask Correctly

How to correctly wear your coronavirus face mask and gloves

 The most important thing with regards to PPE is making sure that what you're wearing is appropriate. So really common protective equipment would be gloves. When you're wearing your gloves the key thing to remember is you should act the same way as if you weren't wearing them because the virus could still technically get through the pores in the gloves. Replacing gloves frequently as well if they do become soiled, that's the key thing to remember. This is your common or grades surgical mask. Now this one has ear loops. Other ones will tie up around the back of the neck but they both have the same basic concept for actually wearing them. 

So you put it over your face, you pinch the wire at the very, very top so it fits snugly to your nose and you make sure it's coming underneath your chin. The key things to remember when you're wearing gloves and a mask are don't touch anything with your contaminated gloves that you'll be touching later on without your gloves. Don't put your hand into your pocket and take your phone out. Bad idea. Don't touch your face when you've got your mask on. It's very, very tempting to try and adjust it maybe pull it down maybe try and pinch the nose again but as soon as you touch your mask, you're at risk of contaminating your hands and then contaminating yourself.

 Now masks are annoying regardless of how well you've fitted them but if you fit it correctly then you should be able to wear it for several hours without it being too much of a problem. One thing you definitely shouldn't do with your mask, which you will see a lot of people do, pulls it from the front. That's the contaminated area. You see people doing this and then they wear it under here for maybe an hour or two. Absolutely not. Once it's come off of your nose and your mouth, straight into the bin. Same with the gloves. As soon as you touch something which is contaminated, i you're then going to go and use a computer or if you're going to go and touch something which could not be contaminated, take the gloves off. So the mask comes off and the gloves come off and you wash your hands. Very very important. 

How To Wear Face Masks Properly, And How To Clean Them 

 - It's important that everyone use a facial covering of wear a mask, even if they're not feeling sick because of the common-- the high prevalence of asymptomatic carriers in COVID infection. The more we test, the more we learn about this disease, the more we've come to realize that there a lot of people out there who will become infected with COVID and never display any symptoms, never get a fever, never get a cough but still maintain the ability to infect others. So for that reason, we want everyone, the sick and the well alike, to use a face cover and to use a mask when they are out and about in public, certainly within six feet of other people.


 So Covid-19 is in the droplets that we all emit when we're just speaking and certainly when we're coughing. So a mask, any kind of covering over the nose and mouth keeps those droplets from going out into the space around us. They can travel for, you know, several feet at a time so just having that cover against our nose and face, nose and mouth, keeps us from emitting this viral particle to the people around us. Similarly, your neighbor if they have on a face covering as well, you aren't going to be breathing in their droplets that they're emitting when they're talking to you or coughing. The first and simplest mask is the surgical mask.

 It has an internal metal bar that you mold around the bridge of your nose and two loops that go around your ears. You place the mask over your nose, secure it over both ears, shape it to fit, and make sure that the mask actually covers your chin as well, spreading it out like this. What you don't wanna do once you have a mask in place, is touch your face. The mask is a good reminder not to touch your nose and mouth. If you do touch your mask, you should then immediately sanitize your hands.

 Use hand sanitizer. When it's time to take off your mask, you want to do that again without touching the front of your mask, which is providing you with protection and is theoretically the dirtiest part of the mask. So you remove it by grasping the loops around your ears and slowly and carefully taking it off and disposing of in a trash receptacle. You can elaborate a mask from a T-shirt, a bandana, simple cloth, just by folding it over and attaching rubber bands to the end and this can be worn as well. There is a higher level of protection and that's provided by the N95 respirator that I have here. This is dawned or put on by holding the mask up against your nose and mouth, bringing one elastic band around the top of your head, 

it rests above your ears and the second one down below resting on the nape of your neck. Again, you wanna mold this mask over the bridge of your nose, not too tight so that it forms too much of a peak but tight enough there are not spaces here on the top of the mask. And again, you wanna avoid touching the front of the mask, if you do hand sanitize, let your hands dry before they're considered clean and then when you doffing the mask or removing the mask, you wanna do it slowly and carefully. So these are tight elastic straps, you wanna keep them from snapping and aerosolizing anything.

 Here you do have to touch the mask a little bit over the metal bridge to prevent it from moving or remove on an elastic band and then the other, holding everything tight and then carefully disposing of your mask. So UCSF is following the CDC recommendation and encouraging everyone in our community to use a face-covering when they're out in public space so on the shuttle, walking outdoors, around campus, outside of clinical spaces, we are asking folks to use a face cover of some kind. Surgical masks are reserved for the clinical setting, there's a finite supply of them and that's the highest risk space. So surgical masks are reserved for inside clinical buildings. Outside, a simple face covering can be manufactured, made by you at home from cloth, a bandana, a towel, simply folding it against itself, and securing it to over your mouth and nose using rubber bands. 

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