Facts and information about the coronavirus pandemic are constantly changing. Visit the CDC site for the most up-to-date information during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Wearing a cloth face mask is an easy way that you can help flatten the curve and protect the health of your community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend wearing a reusable cloth face covering when going out in public. The CDC does not recommend surgical masks or N-95 respirators as they should be reserved for health professionals, and you should still follow social distancing measures even if you are wearing a mask.
Here’s why it’s important to wear a face mask during the coronavirus outbreak, and how to properly wear a face mask.
Why should I wear a mask?
Coronavirus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets. Face masks and face coverings help prevent the spread of the virus by keeping droplets out of the air and off surfaces.
Wearing a face mask does not prevent you from getting sick with COVID-19. Masks prevent people who are sick with COVID-19 — and those who can transmit the virus even though they are asymptomatic — from spreading the virus to others.
In other words, you wear a face covering to keep those around you safe, and those around you wear a face covering to keep you safe.
How do you wear a cloth face covering?
- Use a reusable cloth mask rather than a surgical mask or N-95 respirator.
- Masks should have loops that go over the ears, or ties that fasten securely.
- It should fit snugly and touch the bridge of your nose, below your chin, and the sides of your face.
- Make sure that your face mask covers your nose and your mouth at all times
- Your mask should be made of multiple layers of cloth.
- Your mask should allow you to breathe freely without restriction.
- If your mask shifts or moves, thoroughly wash your hands for 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol before adjusting it.
- Carefully remove your mask after use; make sure that you do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing your face covering.
- Masks should be durable enough to go through the washing machine after use. Wash your face covering after returning home from public places.
- Learn more about types of face masks and who should wear them
Can I get COVID-19 if I wear a mask?
Wearing a mask or face covering does not protect you from getting sick with COVID-19. A mask does not replace the need to follow social distancing measures and proper hand hygiene; you must still follow the appropriate safety measures to protect yourself and others from coronavirus.
- Follow the recommendations of your state health department. (Arkansas Department of Health).
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Stay home if you are sick or if you have a serious health condition.
- Keep six feet of distance between yourself and others when in public.
- Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
If you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19, or if you think you have been exposed to coronavirus, call your doctor’s office. Do not walk into a clinic.