Properly wearing, cleaning cloth face masks during pandemic

National

CLEVELAND (NEWS10) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending wearing fabric masks, or cloth face coverings, in public to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Wearing a cloth mask can be useful in a situation where staying apart is a challenge even if they are not considered personal protective equipment.

Dr. Aaron Hamilton, of the Cleveland Clinic, said wearing a fabric mask helps to protect others from germs you may not realize you have. They can also help stop you from touching your face.

But cloth masks, whether purchased or homemade, need to be worn properly to be effective.

“You might hear that different face masks are secured with either loops around your ears or maybe tied on the top and at the bottom,” Dr. Hamilton said. “Either are okay as long as the fit is snug around your face, covers your nose and mouth, and is not used around your neck or on your forehead.”

After each use, Dr. Hamilton said cloth masks should be washed on the gentle cycle or hand washed with hot, soapy water and then dried on high heat.

He said it’s also important to thoroughly wash your hands after removing or handling a mask.

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