Recommendations for using a Cloth Face mask

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Victoria’s Chief Health Officer speaks about wearing a Cloth Face Mask – who should wear this, and why. These recommendations apply to adults over the age of 18 – and those who cannot keep a safe distance from others in public.


Hi, I’m Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton.

Right now, we’re experiencing higher rates of community transmission of coronavirus. That means it’s more important than ever we each do what we can to protect ourselves and each other.

It’s why we’re recommending that everyone in areas with stage 3 restrictions wear a mask when outside their homes and if they’re unable to physically distance.
If you need to leave home and can’t keep 1.5 metres apart, wearing a mask will provide you with a physical barrier to coronavirus, protecting you and those around you.

These recommendations apply to adults over the age of 18.

The types of masks available for use in the community include cloth masks and single-use facemasks – commonly called surgical masks.
I recommend a cloth mask, made of three layers of a mix of breathable fabrics, to ensure adequate protection.

Cloth masks are inexpensive, simple to make and easy to use.
You can buy cloth masks or single-use masks from a number of retail outlets, or you can follow our directions to make your own cloth mask.

A mask should fit securely around the face, specifically covering your nose and mouth areas. The mask should fit snugly on your face and be secured by ties at the back of your head or ear loops.

Make sure that your mask does not have holes or a valve. This can result in breathing out the virus if you have coronavirus.

Before putting the mask on and taking it off, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser that is made up of over 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store cloth face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them. Single-use masks you should throw away.

But we also need to remember – masks are not the only way to stay safe.
Wherever you can, keep 1.5 metres apart from others, wash your hands often, and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.

And if you have symptoms – get tested.

Victoria, let’s stay home – and let’s stay safe.

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