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YNC Administrator
by Published on October 11, 2021

Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives; the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against COVID-19.

If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. Check local advice where you live and work. Do it all!

Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. The appropriate use, storage and cleaning or disposal of masks are essential to make them as effective as possible.

Here are the basics of how to wear a mask:

  • Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time.
  • Make sure it covers both your nose, mouth and chin. 
  • When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic bag, and every day either wash it if it’s a fabric mask, or dispose of a medical mask in a trash bin.
  • Don’t use masks with valves.

For specifics on what type of mask to wear and when, see our Q&A and watch our videos. There is also a Q&A focused on masks and children.

Take a 1-hour WHO course that tells you when, where and how to wear a mask in community settings.

Find out more about the science of how COVID-19 infects people, and our bodies react, by watching or reading this interview.

For specific advice for decision makers, see WHO’s technical guidance.

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