Your Guide to Masks
CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people.
How to Select
When selecting a mask, there are many choices. Here are some do’s and don’ts.
Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
Completely cover your nose and mouth
Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps
Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, for example, vinyl
Have exhalation valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape
Are intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators or surgical masks
Wear a gaiter with two layers, or fold it to make two layers
Not recommended: Evaluation of face shields is ongoing, but effectiveness is unknown at this time.
If you wear glasses, find a mask that fits closely over your nose or one that has a nose wire to limit fogging.
Find a mask that is made for children to help ensure proper fit
Check to be sure the mask fits snugly over the nose and mouth and under the chin and that there are no gaps around the sides
Do NOT put on children younger than 2 years old
Wear your scarf, ski mask or balaclava over your mask
Scarves, ski masks and balaclavas are not substitutes for masks
How to Wear
Wear a mask correctly and consistently for the best protection.
- Be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on a mask.
- Do NOT touch the mask when wearing it. If you have to often touch/adjust your mask, it doesn’t fit you properly, and you may need to find a different mask or make adjustments.
For more information, visit our How to Wear Masks web page.
- Covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
- Fits snugly against the sides of your face.
Around your neck
On Your forehead
Under your nose
Only on your nose
On your chin
Dangling from one ear
On your arm
Carefully, untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
Handle only by the earloops or ties
Fold the outside corners together
Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing
- Include your mask with your regular laundry
- Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask
- Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry
For more information, visit our How to Wash Masks web page.