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Are you wearing your face mask correctly? Tips from a nurse!

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As the NSW Government is now strongly encouraging the greater use of face masks in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s important that people are wearing them correctly.

A local mum and nurse, recently shared this important post on Facebook:

“I’ve been contemplating posting this or not, but as a nurse I think I have a certain duty of care to share this. It’s about wearing masks in public, specifically surgical masks with one blue side.

I see it all the time but paid particular close attention to it this morning. If these masks are worn incorrectly, they become completely useless. And then they’re not just a waste of money, but they also don’t protect you or others.

The blue side always goes on the outside. The wire bit always goes on the top. Once you put it on your face, pinch the wire above your nose to get a seal. The mask should cover your mouth AND nose. If worn under the nose, you’re not protecting anyone. Also, once it’s on, don’t touch the front of it. To take it off, just touch the straps on the ear, remove, dispose and clean your hands.”

When should you wear a face mask?

The advice from the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant specifically recommends:

  • the use of face masks in indoor settings where physical distancing is hard to maintain, such as on public transport or in supermarkets
  • the use of face masks (where practical) in indoor settings with a higher risk of transmission (such as cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs)
  • during attendance at places of worship.

Wearing a mask in any of these settings is not mandatory but is highly recommended, especially in areas where there has been community transmission.

Face masks are the fourth line of defence against Covid-19

Masks should be considered a “fourth line of defence” after:

  1. Staying home if unwell and get tested
  2. Maintaining 1.5-metre social distancing
  3. Good hand hygiene.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a mask is not a substitute for physical distancing.

“People should continue to maintain their physical distance – it is our most effective weapon. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t maintain your physical distance you should wear a mask. It is critical the community understands masks should be used in conjunction with other measures, and not as a standalone measure,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Got symptoms? Get tested and self-isolate

If you have any of the following symptoms, please get to a Covid-19 testing clinic ASAP and self-isolate until you get your results. Symptoms of COVID-19 include

  • fever (37.5 ° or higher)
  • cough
  • sore/scratchy throat
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of smell or
  • loss of taste.
Other reported symptoms of COVID-19 include
  • fatigue
  • runny nose
  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • headache
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea/vomiting
  • loss of appetite.

Want to try a reusable cloth mask?

The use of properly constructed cloth masks is acceptable. However, it’s important they are:

  • ideally made from three layers of breathable fabric to ensure adequate protection and
  • washed after each use or at least daily.

Click here to find out more about what to look for when choosing a cloth mask and find lots of local suppliers. 

More information and resources:

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