FORT MYERS, Fla. — Medical professionals are stressing the importance of face masks and how to wear them properly during the coronavirus crisis.
Dr. Mary Clifton says there's still a lot of uncertainty when it comes to COVID-19 research, so it's important to protect yourself and others by covering your face.
The New York City doctor knows her way around a mask, after wearing one for more than 20 years.
She says it isn't easy, but necessary for a very serious virus.
"You want to make sure there’s not a lot of gaping up top or at the bottom where air might come through," said Dr. Clifton.
Whether your mask is medical or cloth, it should be comfortable, talk-able, and fit properly.
For extra protection with a cloth mask, she suggests lining it with a coffee filter, paper towel, or even a blue shop towel.
People should refrain from touching their mask while wearing it. However, if it needs to be adjusted or removed, sanitize the hands before and after.
“Just grab it by the ear loops on either side to remove it. You can wash it right away with soap and water for two minutes, hang it up to dry, and then it will be ready to use. If it didn’t get too dingy, you can put it in a paper bag and put it in the oven on the lowest heat. That will sanitize it in about 20 minutes.”
Dr. Clifton says it's a sticky virus that can stay on surfaces, like a metal door handle, for about nine days.
She says people should be wearing a mask anytime they leave their home.
A effective one she recommends is by Boomers Natural, who make an antibacterial mask in adult and youth sizes.
"I would love I would love for everyone to just please be as careful as you can possibly be. Stay home but when you must go out take advantage of the curbside options so that you keep your self out of environments where you can experience multiple exposures. Make sure you’re wearing a mask and keeping your hands clean.”
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