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NSW Health issues advice on wearing face masks

Wearing of face masks by the general population should be considered in situations where you are unable to maintain a physical distance of 1.5m.

Covering your face with a mask can provide some protection so long as it does not cause complacency or neglect of other measures.

The main value of wearing a mask is to protect other people, if the wearer is unknowingly infected but has no symptoms or has symptoms but cannot avoid leaving home, for example, to have a COVID-19 test.

If you can’t physically distance and choose to wear a mask it’s important you do it safely:

Do not touch your mask or face as this contaminates the mask

Do not pull your mask below your nose or chin

Do not leave it hanging around your neck or on top of your head, and

Do not touch your face.

You should change your mask when it becomes moist or if it is sprayed or splashed by fluids. Immediately perform hand hygiene if you accidentally touch the mask.

If you need to remove the mask: perform hand hygiene, remove and discard into the general waste bin (or washing machine if it is a cloth mask) and put another mask on.

If it is a disposable mask it should be thrown out whenever it becomes moist or wet or contaminated.

If it is a reusable mask it should be removed and replaced with a different mask if wet or contaminated – you may need 3-4 masks in rotation to manage this.

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