According to the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), of which ATS and CHEST are founding members, wearing a mask, along with social distancing and handwashing, are vital everyday actions that are our best defense against catching and spreading the coronavirus.

How masks work
  • Masks help contain droplets that can spread viruses like COVID-19
Putting on your mask
  • Wash your hands thoroughly, with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Be sure your mask is clean
  • Place only the inside of the mask against your face
  • Your mask should cover your entire mouth and nose
  • The fit should be snug, but not too tight
Removing your mask
  • Take your mask off one side at a time
  • As always––avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Put reusable masks into a sealable container, such as a paper bag
  • Do not place any mask on an open surface, such as a counter or table
  • Discard disposable masks in a closable trash bin
  • Once you’re done, wash your hands thoroughly
Caring for your reusable mask
  • Wash cloth masks often, preferably daily, by hand or in the washing machine
  • Thoroughly dry your cloth mask using high heat or sunlight, if possible
  • Store clean masks in a sealable container, such as a paper bag
  • If your mask is visibly soiled or damaged, discard it in a closable trash bin
Once you put on a mask, try to avoid
  • Touching or adjusting your mask
  • Wearing your mask under your chin
Who doesn’t need to wear a mask
  • Children 2 years of age and under
For additional information please visit the resources below