Things you need to know about cleaning face masks to avoid COVID-19

As the number of cases of coronavirus pandemic are increasing every other day, many guidelines are being released by the health experts and governments of the countries to fight the spread of the disease. There are some reports which suggest that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also advised people to use protective coverings such as T-shirts, bandannas and non-medical masks to cover their faces when outside or in public places, especially in areas hard hit by the spread of coronavirus. This is also recommended by CDC that one should keep their mask clean and regularly wash them depending on the frequency of their use to protect against coronavirus.

A medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md., Dr William Schaffner, said that there is no harm to use face mask multiple times without washing it. He also added that if the mask is not dirty, then a weekly wash should be fine. Moreover, Dr William Schaffner also said “You shouldn’t be using them all that frequently. Use them only when you are going out to the pharmacy and supermarket.” The California Department of Public Health has advised to wash face mask or coverings frequently after every use or daily.

As per the report, a primary care practice in San Fransisco, Dr Nathan Favini has also given a statement earlier regarding the cleanness of the face mask. He recommended that the mask should be cleaned immediately, in case you come in the contact of coronavirus survivors. Face masks and coverings should be washed properly with detergent and hot water, he added.

It is suspected that the virus spreads mainly by droplets from coughs or sneezes, and face masks are very helpful to block large droplets from a sneeze or cough. And thus the key recommendation is to maintain social distancing, besides regular hand washing and not touching your face. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 1.3 million people have been reported infected globally, and more than 74,000 have died due to COVID-19. Perhaps the actual figures are far higher because of limited testing; different ways nations count the dead and deliberate under-reporting by some governments.