CHOOSING A FACE MASK: SURGICAL MASK, N95, CLOTH MASK OR BANDANA?
The Victorian government has now advised people living in certain parts of Melbourne to wear a mask. As COVID-19 continues to spread in Sydney, many of you may be wondering if we need to also consider wearing face masks.
Maintaining a distance of 1.5 m and washing your hands is still highly recommended, but face masks can offer you additional protection against COVID-19.
Each face mask has its pros and cons, but surgical (or medical) masks are still considered the best option for the general public. Studies have shown that surgical masks can filter particles from coughs and sneezes better compared to cloth masks. N95 masks are also a good option, however during a pandemic we need to try and reserve stock for medical professionals who are at the highest risk.
When wearing a mask, make sure that it covers the nose, mouth and chin. To do this, pinch the bridge to ensure a good seal around the top of the nose and pull the mask down to cover the chin. After wearing a mask, remember to dispose of it correctly and wash your hands thoroughly after removing it.
If you’re looking to purchase some surgical masks, Blue Cross Pharmacy currently have some in stock!
If you do not have access to a surgical mask, a cloth mask with 2-3 layers of fabric is the next best option. Ensure that the mask fits well and seals around the mouth and nose. Cloth masks can be reused, but remember to wash them in warm water (at 60°C) regularly.
Finally a bandana or scarf around your face should be the last resort as they do not fit well around the face and do not have sufficient layers to protect against COVID-19.