Your Covid-19 questions answered

How often should I replace my mask?

Kyle Zeeman Digital Editor
Experts advise you to have at least two masks and rotate them.
Experts advise you to have at least two masks and rotate them.
Image: 123RF/OVANMANDIC

It has been well over a year since we have had to adjust to the “new normal”, and correct mask protocol can still be tricky.

While some may have a mask they keep at the door or in the car to wear when they go out, experts have warned that we should be changing our masks like we change our underwear — every time we wear it.

“You will need two masks so that you can wash one and wear one. Wash your mask daily with soap and hot water. The mask is best dried in the sun and ironed. Do not share your mask with anyone,” the National Institute for Communicable Diseases says,

Johns Hopkins Medicine says this is to “reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus or other germs”, and advises throwing away any disposable mask that is visibly soiled.

And not just any mask will do.

Cloth masks need to have at least three layers and be made of fabrics that can be washed in hot water and ironed.

“The outer two layers are best made from thick weave cotton, like denim, calico, upholstery fabric or Shweshwe. The inner layer is best made from soft cotton, to make the mask comfortable to wear,” the NICD advises.

And of course, you should always wear your mask above your nose to below the chin and up to the ears.

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