How to put on the mask? How often should it be changed? How should it be discarded? Infectious disease specialist Rosana Richtmanna explained the rules of etiquette regarding the use of this personal protective equipment (PPE) to CNN Brasil.
According to Rosana Richtmann, before putting on a mask, the hair should be spread out, in order to facilitate its placement. In the case of a clean mask, the fabric can be adjusted to the face, but, in later uses, it should only be handled by elastic bands.
The mask must always cover the nose, mouth and chin.
As for the usage time, it depends on the type of material. Reusable fabric masks must be changed every two hours, for example.
The doctor explains to CNN Brasil that the more a person speaks, the faster the mask becomes moist and should therefore be changed more frequently.
It is not known exactly how long the virus survives in the tissue. “As it is a more porous material, I would say that, at least, it remains about four hours. But it must be more than that ”, he says.
When changing the mask, it is important not to touch the fabric, only the elastics, as we must assume that both the outside and inside may be contaminated. It is then recommended to remove the mask by the elastic bands that surround the ears.
In the case of reusable masks, the suggestion to discard this personal protective equipment, especially when you are not at home, “is to use a paper envelope”, or a bag, to store the mask without being in contact with other objects.
In the case of disposable masks, such as surgical ones, if you are not near a waste bin, the infectious disease’s suggestion is the same: keep it in a bag, isolated, and then dispose of it.
The washing of reusable, or social, can be done with water and soap or detergent. Once washed, just wait for it to dry. The doctor also recommends the use of iron, as the high temperature may inactivate the virus.