How to correctly put on and remove a face covering

man with face mask

What is a face covering

Face coverings are one tool utilized for preventing the spread of disease.  They may also be called dental, isolation, laser, medical, procedure, or surgical face coverings.

Face covering are loose-fitting masks that cover the nose and mouth, and have ear loops or ties or bands at the back of the head. There are many different brands and they come in different colours. It is important to use a face covering that are CE approved and certified EN 14683

What is a face covering used for

Face coverings help limit the spread of germs.  When someone talks, coughs, or sneezes they may release tiny drops into the air that can infect others. If someone is ill a face covering can reduce the number of germs that the wearer releases and can protect other people from becoming sick.  A face covering also protects the wearer’s nose and mouth from splashes or sprays of body fluids.

When should a face covering be worn

Consider wearing a face covering when you are sick with a cough or sneezing illness (with or without fever) and you expect to be around other people.  The face covering will help protect them from catching your illness.  Healthcare settings have specific rules for when people should wear face coverings.

How to put on and remove a face covering

Disposable face masks should be used once. You should also remove and replace face covering when they become moist.

Always follow product instructions on use and storage of the mask, and procedures for how to put on and remove a face covering.  If instructions for putting on and removing the face covering are not available, then follow the steps below.

How to put on a face covering

  1. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the mask.
  2. Remove a mask from the pack and make sure there are no obvious tears or holes in either side of the face covering.
  3. Determine which side of the mask is the top. The side of the face covering that has a stiff bendable edge is the top and is meant to mould to the shape of your nose.
  4. Determine which side of the face covering is the front. The coloured side of the face covering is the front and should face away from you, while the white side touches your face.
  5. Follow the instructions below for the type of Face Covering you are using.
    • Face Covering with Ear loops: Hold the mask by the ear loops. Place a loop around each ear.
    • Face Covering with Bands: Hold the face covering in your hand with the nosepiece or top of the face covering at fingertips, allowing the headbands to hang freely below hands.  Bring the face covering to your nose level and pull the top strap over your head so that it rests over the crown of your head.  Pull the bottom strap over your head so that it rests at the nape of your neck.
  6. Pinch the stiff edge to the shape of your nose.
  7. Pull the bottom of the face covering over your mouth and chin.

How to remove a face covering

  1. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the mask. Avoid touching the front of the face covering. The front of the mask is contaminated. Only touch the ear loops/ties/band.Follow the instructions below for the type of face covering you are using.
  2. Face Covering with Ear loops: Hold both of the ear loops and gently lift and remove the mask.
  3. Face Covering with Bands: Lift the bottom strap over your head first then pull the top strap over your head.
  4. Throw the face covering in the trash. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.