Do's and Don'ts in a Pandemic
- Whenever possible, conduct work & school from home
- Anytime you are within 6 feet of other people, wear a medical or cloth facemask
- Avoid travel, especially to hotspots, unless absolutely necessary
- If you are a medical professional potentially caring for COVID-19 patients, always wear the appropriate medical facemask & PPE
- Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people, and close contact with those not in your household
- If your facemask is damaged, difficult to breath in, or contaminated, replace it
- Wash your hands prior to & after removing your facemask
- Only handle the ear loops/ties of your facemask when donning or removing
- If you must reuse a face mask, be sure you store it in a way the prevents contamination
- Keep in contact with family & friends, stay active, try to maintain a routine
- If you are providing care for a sick person (especially one infected with COVID-19), do not use a cloth facemask as PPE
- Do not touch your face - viruses like COVID-19 enter the body through the eyes, nose & mouth
- Do not forgo social distancing & mask guidelines just because you feel healthy
- Do not stockpile medications, PPE, or other necessary health items like soap, tissues, or hand sanitizer
- If you are within 6 feet of someone else, do not remove your facemask
- While using or removing your facemask, do not touch the front of it
- Do not put on a facemask that has been contaminated, is damaged, or is difficult to breathe through
- Unless there is an emergency shortage & no viable alternative, do not reuse medical facemasks
Can I Share or Reuse Facemasks or Other PPE?
Generally speaking, if your field of employment requires you wear personal protective equipment, it has been assigned specifically to you and should not be shared amongst your colleagues. Other forms of PPE such as disposable masks and gloves are designed for single use. There is no effective way to clean and disinfect disposable PPE, so these items should be discarded after each use.
During these unprecedented times, people who have never used PPE before are in need of it. To slow the spread of COVID-19, many of us have begun utilizing facemasks. However, discarding facemasks after one use when they are required at all times in public can be a costly endeavour. Many of us have adapted by donning cloth facemasks. These masks can be laundered and reused. This cuts down on costs for regular consumers and prevents shortages of disposable medical PPE needed for front line workers.