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Guide on When, Where, and How To Wear a Face Mask

Perhaps the country began reopening too soon, or maybe people simply didn’t pay enough attention to the safety guidelines—or even believe them. Whatever the reason, COVID-19 cases are once again surging across the United States, and the virus continues to threaten the health and lives of people in other parts of the world as well. 

Out of all this, one thing has been made abundantly clear by medical experts at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO): wearing masks can save lives.

“Your cloth face covering may protect them. Their cloth face covering may protect you.”

CDC, Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

“If you need to leave your house, wear a mask to avoid infecting others.”

WHO, COVID-19 Advice for the Public

Today, it seems more people are getting the message. A nationwide survey of over 22,000 Americans in all 50 states found that 75% claim to follow government guidelines to wear masks outside their homes either “ somewhat closely” or “very closely.” 

To those already following guidelines—and to those considering donning a mask to stop the spread of COVID-19—here is a quick guide on when, where, and how to wear a face mask properly.

When To Wear a Face Mask

Clinical and laboratory studies reveal that cloth face masks reduce the spray of respiratory droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. Because COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are within six feet of one another—and it can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms or even know that they are infected—masks should be worn in all public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain. 

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 or think they may have the virus should avoid public spaces at all costs. If for any reason leaving the house becomes necessary, a mask is a must. If a person with COVID-19 is sharing living space with anyone else who does not have the virus, they should also quarantine themselves in a separate room and wear a mask when stepping out of the room to try to protect housemates.

Where to Wear a Face Mask

Despite many experts’ calls for national face covering and social distancing guidelines, policies still vary from state to state, county to county. Because of this, confusion abound about where it’s necessary to wear a face mask. 

A general guideline is to wear a face covering in public when you’ll be within six feet of people. However, let’s take a look at some specific situations and whether or not a mask is needed. 

We put together this quick reference chart based upon the opinions of three infectious disease/public health experts as reported by Health Magazine

PlaceWear a Mask?Exceptions/Additional Considerations 
Grocery StoreYesMaintain 6’ distance; shop purposefully; steer clear of those without a mask.
DrivingNoExceptions include if you’re driving or picking up people who aren’t members of your household.
Your HomeNoExceptions include if you are a healthcare worker; if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19; or if you have a visitor, for example, a repairman.
Friend’s HomeYesThe safer alternative is not to visit, but if you do, put the mask on and maintain a 6’ distance.
Doctor or Dentist OfficeYesAvoid routine care if possible; if not, mask up!
Hair or Nail SalonYesDIY if you can; otherwise, you definitely want to wear a face mask.
Walking, Running, or Biking OutdoorsNoThis assumes you can maintain a 6’ distance; if you’ll be in a crowded park, for example, you should wear a face mask.
SwimmingNoYour mask can get wet and make it difficult to breathe; instead, be sure to maintain 6’ distance from others.
Public TransportationYesPublic transit systems are working hard to maintain safety, but your personal car may be safer those at high-risk for COVID-19.

There are a few exceptions to these general rules. The CDC does not recommend a mask in any situation for:

  • Children younger than 2 years old
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the fabric face mask without assistance

How to Wear a Face Mask

Welcome to Mask Wearing 101! It may seem silly, but masks take some getting used to, and you’ve probably seen many people doing it wrong, which can continue the spread or contaminate the mask itself. So here are our top 10 do’s and don’ts of wearing a mask.

  • DO wear your mask above your nose (and don’t just cover the tip; extend that mask to the bridge of your nose).
  • DO wear your mask snugly, with no gaps on the sides.
  • DO wash or sanitize your hands before and after touching the mask.
  • DO touch only the band or ties when putting on or taking off your mask.
  • DO wash reusable masks (or use disposable masks).
  • DON’T leave your chin exposed.
  • DON’T push your mask down under your chin to rest on your neck.
  • DON’T remove your mask while around others in public.
  • DON’T touch the face or your or your child’s mask while it is being worn.
  • DON’T share your mask with others, even family members.

Pro Tip: Wondering how to wear a mask with glasses? We know, it can be a nuisance when they fog up! So, do what doctors and surgeons have been doing for ages—wash your lenses with soapy water. The soap leaves a thin film behind that acts as a fog barrier on your lenses. You can also use your glasses to seal the mask and then shape it to your face. A secure fit will keep your warm breath from escaping through the top of your face mask!

Finding the Perfect Face Mask for Virus Protection

Medical experts agree: when face masks go up, the risk of spreading COVID-19 goes down. Of course, they work best when everyone wears one (you protect me, I protect you). So although wearing a mask may appear to be a personal choice, it’s actually a selfless act that can potentially save the lives of thousands. Unfortunately, some people refuse to wear a mask, often citing how uncomfortable they can be. These people obviously never tried a Mighty Well Mask.

Introducing the Mighty Mask by Mighty Well® 

Whether you’re looking for a mask for personal use or want to supply your employees or staff with quality reusable masks, you need the Mighty Well Mask. The Mighty Well Mask is a comfortable, reusable, everyday fabric face mask made from the same award-winning antimicrobial silver ion fabric technologies used in our other popular products, and loved by caregivers and patients.  

Some Mighty Well Mask features our customers love include:

  • Moisture-wicking, water-repellant, and anti-odor features
  • Ultra-soft earloops and adjustable nose clip for an all-day wear
  • Facial contouring for a gap-free, comfortable fit
  • Reusable biodegradable storage bag for easy, clean storage

To learn more about our company, our Mighty Well Mask, or to make a purchase, visit us online.

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2 Responses

  1. I just bought six masks from you and like them very much. I just read this blog, and wish to point out that your statement about avoiding public transportation at all costs is incorrect. Transit agencies have taken great pains to make sure that their vehicles are safe. Studies have come out that have refuted previous incorrect assertions about the risks of riding public transportation. Many people do not have a car and must ride the bus or train. Further, if everyone were to avoid riding the bus or train in the future our roads will be overly crowded and lead to greater air pollution, a clear health risk.

    1. Yes, thank you for pointing this out! I have made changes to reflect these newer studies and recommendations.