Tips for Safely Wearing a Face Mask as Temperatures Rise
LIVONIA, MICH. (JULY 08, 2020) COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
"Cloth face masks are important to prevent people who may not yet have symptoms of COVID-19 from passing the virus to other people," said Tammy Lundstrom, M.D., JD, chief medical officer, Trinity Health.
Warmer weather poses extra challenges to wearing masks.
“Using common sense is the best approach to staying protected against COVID-19 while avoiding overheating," said Russ Olmsted, director, infection prevention management, Trinity Health.
Tips for Wearing A Mask During Warm Weather
- Wear a mask when indoors or in crowded outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible.
- If you must wear a mask outdoors, wear a mask that is light in color, as dark colors may become hotter.
- Breathe through your nose when wearing a mask, which will result in less heat and humidity within the mask.
- If you feel overheated, remove the mask and rest in a well-ventilated, cool area.
Lundstrom said the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain: such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. The exceptions are people under age two years old, those who have trouble breathing or who are unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Wear Your Face Covering Correctly
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
- Make sure you can breathe easily.
- Keep the covering on your face the entire time you’re in public.
- Don’t put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead.
- Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands.
Take Off Your Cloth Face Covering Carefully, When You’re Home
- Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops.
- Handle only by the ear loops or ties.
- Fold outside corners together.
- Place covering in the washing machine (learn more about how to wash cloth face coverings).
- Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.
- Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use.
Continue to Follow Everyday Health Habits
- Stay at least six feet away from others.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.