women wearing a mask

Wearing a non-medical mask can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

The mask should be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen). It should be large enough to completely cover the nose and mouth without gaping. It must fit securely to the head using either elastic ear loops or with ties. It should be comfortable and not require frequent adjusting. Some masks may also have pockets to include a paper towel or coffee filter for increased benefit. If possible use different fabrics or colours on each side of the mask, so you know which side of the mask faces your mouth and which side faces out.

Change the mask as soon as it becomes dirty or damp. Throw it into warm/hot soapy water or put it in the washing machine on warm or hot cycle. To prevent it from shrinking, hang to dry. Remember, the virus hates warm soapy water! Non-medical (cloth) masks should not be put on children under the age of 2 or placed on anyone who is unable to remove them without assistance. They should not be made of plastic or materials that easily fall apart. They should never be secured with tape.


  1. Make sure your face is clean and dry. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing happy birthday twice), or use hand sanitizer before touching the mask.
  2. Pull hair away from your face, place the mask over yur nose and mouth and secure it to your head using the elastic ear loops or the ties.
  3. Pinch the nose grip so the mask conforms to the shape of your nose, eliminating any upper gapping. Gently grasp the bottom of the mask and pull down, strethching the fabric open to cover the entire nose, mouth and chin.
  4. Wash your hands again in warm soapy water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
  5. Do not touch the mask or your face for the duration the mask is on.


  1. Wash your hands in warm soapy water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
  2. AVOID touching the front of the mask.
  3. Remove by untying the straps or by hooking your pinky fingers into the elastic loops behind your ears and carefully removing the loops
  4. Place the mask in the washing machine or if not at home, place it into a zip lock bag and seal it. Wash the mask before re-using it. If you are using disposable masks, then carefully throw it into a trash bin be cautious not to touch the mask.
  5. Wash your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

These guidelines come from the Health Canada website: https://bit.ly/2ScrZOT

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