In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic that has greatly disrupted many of the ways that we live our lives and conduct business, there has been a rise in the use of face masks for coronavirus protection due to the CDC guidelines. At HiDow, we have taken the initiative to add face masks and N95 respirators to our inventory to make face masks more accessible. As states across the country begin to lift stay-at-home orders, it’s important to know when and how to use face masks for Coronavirus protection.
What Is Personal Protective Equipment?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) refers to any equipment that workers use to protect themselves from health and safety risks while on the job. PPE includes face maks and N95 Respirators among other hands, eye, and face protection. PPE is designed to help reduce the exposure to hazards that individuals may experience when other options are not feasible or effective to help reduce the risk to acceptable levels.
Why Respiratory Protection is Essential
When it comes to keeping yourself and those around you healthy and safe, PPE that offers respiratory protection is essential. Respiratory protection is important to use in areas where there are large crowds of people gathering, in grocery stores, and when going to work where contaminants are present. Respirators protect you from breathing in dust, fumes, paint, pesticides, and other airborne particles where there is inadequate ventilation.
How Effective Are Face Masks for Coronavirus Protection?
So we know that a 3-ply face mask can help keep you safe from particles in the air such as dust and pesticides, but are face masks really effective for coronavirus protection?
While any facial protection is better than none, there are varying degrees of effectiveness when masks are used to protect against coronavirus. Depending on the certification grade of the masks you are using you will have more or less protection. An N95 mask will be more effective than a general protection face mask but both are significantly better than a home-made mask.
When Do You Need to Use Face Masks for Coronavirus Protection
According to the World Health Organization, you should wear a mask under these circumstances:
- If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask when taking care of a person with COVID-19. Additionally, it would be wise to wear one any time you are in a crowded space.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
Note: Masks are most effective when used in combination with frequent hand washing.
How to Properly Use Face Masks
- Wash the hands to avoid contaminating the inner side of the mask, then flatten and spread the mask on the face
- Hand the ear straps on the ears until feeling comfortable
- Pull the mask up and down to completely cover the nose and chin
- Press the nose clips to conform to the shape of the nose bridge and check the tightness with your face.