Face Masks – Mandatory use in public spaces
With the second wave of COVID-19 surging in Victoria, the Government has declared mask wearing as mandatory as of 11.59PM Wednesday 22nd July.
For the safety of our team and our patients, Holistic Bodyworks will require all patients to wear face masks BEFORE entering the clinic.
The residents of Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will have to cover their face when they leave the house or face a $200 fine. There are a few exceptions and you don’t have to rush out and buy hundreds of disposable masks.
So here are the dos and don’ts from the DHHS website of wearing masks in Victoria…
Why should I wear a face mask?
Wearing a face mask protects you and your community by providing an additional physical barrier to coronavirus (COVID-19). However, keeping 1.5 metres between yourself and others and washing your hands are still the best defences against coronavirus (COVID-19).
Who should wear a mask?
All residents of Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell shire. The recommendation to wear a face mask does not apply to;
- children and people aged under 12 years
- individuals with breathing difficulties
- those who have physical conditions that make it difficult to wear a face mask.
Do children need to wear a face mask?
No, children and people aged under 12 years are not recommended to wear a face mask but individual families can make their own decisions regarding their children. Children under two years should never wear a face mask due to choking and strangulation risks.
When should I wear a face mask?
If you are leaving home you should wear a face mask such as a cloth mask or surgical mask, especially when visiting busy areas like;
- shopping centres or markets
- traveling on public transport or
- in any areas where it would be difficult to keep 1.5 metres apart from other people.
What are the different types of face masks and which one should I use?
The term ‘face mask’ includes cloth masks and single-use face masks (commonly called surgical masks). Both masks are suitable for use to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- any nose and mouth covering made of washable fabric
- a cloth mask made of three layers of a mix of breathable fabrics to ensure adequate protection is recommended
- it does not need to be surgical quality to be effective
- can be washed and reused
- are made with a non-woven meltblown polypropylene layer and available in various levels of protection
- these are single use masks only so can’t be washed and used again.
There are other types of masks and respirators (such as P2 or N95). These are not recommended for use in the community and not advised to be used outside of healthcare or specific industries under health advice.
How do I wear a mask correctly?
- Firstly, Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser that is made up of over 60% alcohol before putting it on and after taking it off.
- A cloth mask should fit securely around the face, specifically covering the nose and the mouth areas
- The mask should fit snugly on your face and be secured by ties at the back of your head or ear loops
- If you are using a mask with ear loops, you can use a plastic clip or tie to join the ends together at the back of your head to make sure it fits snugly on your face
- If present, make sure the metallic strip is at the top of the mask and positioned against the bridge of your nose
- Mould the bendable metallic upper strip to the shape of your nose by pinching and pressing down on it with your fingers
- Make sure that your mask does not have holes or a valve. This can result in breathing out the virus if you have coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face masks in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.
Surgical mask (single use)
- Before putting on the mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser that is made up of over 60% alcohol.
- Check for defects in the mask, such as tears or broken loops.
- Position the coloured side of the mask outward.
- If present, make sure the metallic strip is at the top of the mask and positioned against the bridge of your nose.
- If the mask has:
- Ear loops: Hold the mask by both ear loops and place one loop over each ear.
- Ties: Hold the mask by the upper strings. Tie the upper strings in a secure bow near the crown of your head. Tie the bottom strings securely in a bow near the nape of your neck.
- Dual elastic bands: Pull the bottom band over your head and position it against the nape of your neck. Pull the top band over your head and position it against the crown of your head.
- Mould the bendable metallic upper strip to the shape of your nose by pinching and pressing down on it with your fingers.
- Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin.
- Be sure the mask fits snugly.
- Don’t touch the mask once in position.
- If the mask gets soiled or damp, replace it with a new one.
When is it safe to take my face mask off?
You can remove it outside, once you are away from other people, or in your car on your way home. If it is a cloth mask, don’t forget to bring your cloth mask inside to be cleaned. If you wait to take your cloth mask off until you have returned home, it may be easier to put it directly into the laundry.
What’s the best way to take off a face mask?
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Don’t touch the front of the mask or your face.
- Carefully remove your mask by grasping the ear loops or untying the ties. For masks with a pair of ties, unfasten the bottom one first, then the top one.
- If your mask has filters, remove them and throw them away. Fold the mask and put it directly into the laundry or into a disposable or washable bag for laundering.
- Single use surgical masks should be disposed of responsibly.
- Clean your hands again.
Can I re-use my mask?
- A cloth mask can be washed and re-used.
- Single use masks are for single-use only and should be disposed of responsibly in the rubbish bin.
It is a good idea to have at least two, so you always have a clean one available. For example, if you use one mask on a journey, then remove it once at your destination, don’t reuse the same cloth mask to go home. Put each used cloth mask into a zip lock bag to be taken home for washing.
For each new situation put on a clean cloth mask.
How do I wash my cloth mask?
- Cloth masks can be washed in the washing machine with other clothes, or hand-washed using soap and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth.
- Your cloth mask should be dry before re-using it.
- You can use the heat setting on your dryer or lay out flat to air dry.
- If possible, place the cloth mask in direct sunlight.
- Wash your hands after handling used face masks.
Can I remove my face mask to talk with other people?
No, you should keep your face mask on while speaking with other people and maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres.
What to do if you forget your mask?
Don’t worry – We will have disposable masks available to purchase for $1 if you happen to forget one upon arriving for your appointment. Just call the reception on 9570 3388 and one of our team will meet you at the front door.