Photo by Luis Alvarez
Most people are expected to attend church services this weekend as America reopens following 2 months of lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Worshipers are expected to wear face masks or face coverings if they attend a church service this weekend. But many people are wearing their masks or face coverings incorrectly.
Ideally, face masks should be worn for up to a few hours and then discarded. Not worn. all day.
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Face masks are expensive and some people can only get their hands on a box or 2. Some people use bandanas and DIY masks made out of material.
According to ABC News, face coverings should be washed daily.
Penni Watts, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Nursing, says to run DIY face coverings through a washing machine using hot water and detergent and then use a hot dryer. She says place the masks in a clean plastic bag and seal it to prevent germs from entering.
Dr. Tod Cooperman, founder and CEO of ConsumerLab, said masks can be put on a shelf in an oven with a pan of water placed underneath and heated to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
"Moist heat appears to be better [at killing the virus] than dry heat," he said.
All health experts stress do not touch your face or your mask with your bare hands. You can easily transfer the virus from your hands to your mask and your face.
Always pick up your mask by the elastic ear loops. Never touch the part of the mask that goes on your face.
Dr. Luke Davis, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health, said disposable masks can be reused if stored properly.
"Number one is don't touch your mask," he said. Remove the mask carefully by using the elastic ear loops and place it in a well-ventilated storage container, such as a clean paper bag.
Dr. Davis said, if you don't have a plastic bag to store your mask, a paper bag is a good alternative.
"Many of us are just using those brown paper bags that we used to take our lunch to work in," he said.
Experts don't recommend using a disinfectant to spray the mask, as you'd be breathing in the toxic fumes the next time you wear the mask.