Face masks and hygiene advice

Primary hygiene measures are a very powerful way to stop the spread of infections, including the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Primary hygiene measures embody:

hand hygiene – that’s, washing palms often with soap and water, or cleansing with hand sanitiser

staying at residence in case you are sick

coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and then performing hand hygiene

cleaning surfaces regularly.

Using personal protective equipment (PPE), resembling face masks can reduce the spread of infection when used accurately and within the appropriate context. This may be recommended in workplaces where individuals are more likely to come in contact with the disease.

Use of face masks

For most individuals in the community, PPE reminiscent of face masks usually are not recommended. However, for individuals with signs of an acute respiratory an infection, the WHO recommends that there may be benefit in wearing a face mask to reduce the spread of an infection to other people.

The right way to appropriately wear and remove a face masks

If you’re unwell or have a job which requires you to be in shut contact with people who could have coronavirus, it is strongly recommended you utilize a face mask. It is important that face masks are worn and removed correctly. Masks should fit snugly and absolutely cover your nostril and mouth.

The best way to wear a mask:

wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser

place over nostril, mouth and chin

fit versatile nose piece over nostril bridge

secure on head with ties or elastic

adjust to fit – safe in your head, fitting snugly round your face with no gaps

avoid touching or adjusting your mask during use.

The way to remove a masks:

wash arms with cleaning soap and water or use hand sanitiser

avoid touching the entrance of the masks

if the masks has ties, untie the bottom, then high tie

remove from face

discard, do not use again

wash arms with soap and water or use hand sanitiser immediately.

Use of PPE in the workplace

Workplaces where people can keep more than 2 metres contact distance from people with potential COVID19 signs – Facemasks and gloves are not recommended.

Examples of these workplaces include – education services, pharmacies, retail outlets

Individuals who, because of the nature of their job, may be unable to maintain more than 2 metres contact distance from individuals with potential COVID19 signs – facemasks and gloves are recommended when this contact is more likely to occur.

Examples of these workplaces embody – Police, jail staff, customs employees

These recommendations are a guide only and workplace settings not listed in the table should consider their ability to maintain the 2 metres rule and use the table to inform their use of PPE. Usually, surgical/medical masks stop the dispersal of droplets by an contaminated affected person and the inhalation of droplets if within 2 metres of a coughing individual.

Hand hygiene and cough / sneeze etiquette (preserve distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues and wash arms) can have a bigger impact.

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