PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — You’re defeating the whole purpose of wearing a mask to protect yourself against coronavirus if you’re not properly handling that mask, experts say, and using using a mask incorrectly may be more dangerous than not using one at all.
Medical experts say that a mask can pick up a lot of outside germs, and that’s something people need to be mindful of.
“You must handle the mask as if it is contaminated. That’s the whole point, that maybe it protected you from somebody who coughed or sneezed,” Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh explained.
When you remove your mask, Arkoosh says to do it from the back, and steer clear of the part that was on your face.
“As you take it off, put it in a bag, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water if you can or with hand sanitizer,” she said.
KYW Medical Editor Dr. Brian Mcdonough adds when it comes to reusing a mask, it’s best to evaluate your prior activity with it.
“I think you have to be careful and use your judgement. I personally think the safest thing to do is to wash it every time, or dispose it every time,” he said.
Experts warn to not leave your mask laying around by a table or counter, because that could also be hazardous. And when you wash it, make sure you use hot, soapy water.