Using Facemasks Properly

(The Fight Against COVID-19)

Updated:2020-04-26 |

Using Facemasks Properly

Facemasks are important for preventing infectious respiratory diseases and lowering the risk of COVID-19 infections. Facemasks can prevent patients from spraying droplets, reduce the amount and speed of droplets, and protect the wearers from inhaling droplet nucleus of the virus.

Facemasks have been effective in preventing and controlling COVID-19. On January 30, the NHC published a Guide on Facemask Usage Against Novel Coronavirus-infected Pneumonia. On February 5, the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council published the Technical Guidelines for Selecting and Using Facemasks Against Novel Coronavirus Infection. 

On March 17, in response to work resumption as the disease prevention and control improved, the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism published a Guide on Proper Usage of Facemasks by the Public, providing advice for wearing facemasks under different conditions for the general public, people at specific areas, people with occupational exposure, and key population groups.

Facemasks should be worn and used properly to ensure effective protection. According to relevant guidance, in areas not affected by the disease, facemasks are unnecessary in open and well-ventilated places, but people should wear facemasks when entering crowded or enclosed public places. In high-risk areas, people should wear disposable medical masks in open and well-ventilated places, and wear surgical masks or respirators of grade N95 when entering crowded or enclosed public places. Special groups who may contact suspected or confirmed cases should wear goggles and respirators of grade N95 or above.

When wearing surgical masks, hold the mask with the nose strip on top and the dark-colored side facing outward, pull the mask over the mouth, nose and chins, and pinch the nose strip to conform to the shape of the nose. 

Wash hands according to procedures before wearing a mask and avoid touching the inside of the mask. 

Replace the mask every two to four hours, and change the mask when it is dirty, contaminated, distorted, damaged or smelly. 

Take off the mask with the side touching the nose and mouth folded inward, hang the mask in clean, dry, ventilated place or put it in a clean and ventilated paper bag for reuse. 

Dispose the mask in a specific garbage bin to avoid cross infection. 

Children should not wear the facemasks for adults, and parents should help their children wear facemasks properly. 

Babies cannot wear facemasks, which can pose suffocation risks.