Respiratory Virus and Measles Information


How to Wear a Face Mask (Infographic)

Do’s and Don’ts of Mask-Wearing

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has continued to refine its masking guidelines. For the latest guidelines, visit the CDC website. Recommendations vary based on a number of factors:

Types of Masks

There are many types of masks you can use to protect yourself and others. Here is a look at some of the most common types of protection available.

  • Surgical masks. Also known as a medical mask, these filter out large particles in the air. They should only be worn once and then discarded.
  • Cloth masks. Cloth masks should have multiple layers of fabric and fit securely around your face, completely covering your nose and mouth. A wire in the part that covers the bridge of your nose could help keep the mask securely in place. These should be washed regularly.
  • Neck gaiters. For use as a mask, neck gaiters should have at least two layers of fabric. They can be folded over to create two layers if needed. These should be washed regularly.

Please note:

  • Cloth masks with exhalation valves should not be used, as they do not filter air you exhale. This puts others at risk.
  • Face shields are not recommended, and their effectiveness is currently unknown.

How to Wear a Mask Correctly

Regardless of the mask you choose, you must wear it properly to protect yourself and those around you.

  • Keep the mask on securely. It should cover from the bridge of your nose to underneath your chin. This helps keep particles from exiting and entering your mask.
  • Do not share masks with others. Everyone in your household should have their own set of masks that they use.
  • If your masks are reusable, remember to clean and store them safely.
  • Never touch the outside of the mask.
  •  Wash your hands before and after handling your mask: This is as important a protective measure as wearing the mask.
  • Children under age 2 should not be masked.

Masks are not a substitute for physical distancing. If you choose to gather outside your home or in public, you should remain 6 feet apart from others and wear a mask. And remember, the best way to protect yourself and others and to help end the pandemic is to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

nm-how-to-wear-face-mask_infographic Download How to Wear a Face Mask (Infographic)

Just as important as wearing a mask is wearing one properly.