The Public Health Agency of Canada and Alberta Health Services has updated their recommendation on the wearing of non-medical masks. Wearing a non-medical mask, such as a homemade cloth mask, has not been proven to protect the person wearing it. However, wearing a non-medical mask may be helpful in protecting others around you. Face coverings are another way to cover your mouth and nose to protect respiratory droplets from contaminating other people or surfaces. Masks may also stop you from touching your nose and mouth.
If you choose to wear a non-medical mask or face covering:
- Ensure your mask is well-fitted and does not gape at the sides.
- Be aware that a mask can become contaminated on the outside. Avoid moving or adjusting the mask. Assume the mask has been contaminated and take proper precautions.
- If you wear a mask, you must wash your hands before putting it on as well as before and after taking it off.
- Cloth masks should only be worn a short time, as there is some evidence that they can trap virus particles after they become damp, which may put the wearer at greater risk.
- For those choosing to wear non-medical masks, it may be prudent to carry a bag with several clean masks in it, as well as a plastic bag that can be used to safely store used masks until they can be washed at home.
- It is critical that used masks be carefully handled to avoid spreading infection to others.
- You must still practice physical distancing (keep at least 6 feet away from another person) wherever possible.
- Remove mask from face, be gentle so as to not disturb liquid and solid contaminants on the mask
- Place mask in a plastic bag – like a grocery shopping bag or a zip lock bag
- Secure bag tightly
- Place plastic bag into the garbage can or waste disposal unit
Please reach out to your employer regarding masks. You can print off the "Wearing Masks" poster below.