Face masks have been a debated topic since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our health officials didn’t make the messaging easy to understand.
Wearing face masks may protect you from droplets (small drops) when a person with COVID-19 coughs, speaks or sneezes, and you are less than 1.5 metres away from them. Wearing a mask will also help protect others if you are infected with the virus, but do not have symptoms of infection (asymptomatic).
Currently, wearing a mask is not compulsory in Queensland, as our level of community transmission is relatively low. However, the Queensland Government and health experts support the use of masks by the general public, if people are unable to safely physically distance themselves from others.
The following scenarios are examples of when you should use a face mask:
- if you are using public transport and there are other people nearby
- if you are going to the shops
- if you are visiting a crowded public area e.g. park etc.
You can use a multi-layered cloth mask or a surgical mask. Surgical masks can only be used once and should be thrown away after use. If you have a cloth mask, you can reuse this, but you must wash it after every use. Face coverings such as scarves may not offer the same level of protection.
You can buy a mask or make your own cloth mask. For the mask to be effective, make sure that it covers your nose and mouth completely.
When you put on or take off the mask, it is important that you wash your hands first and avoid touching your face or the front of the mask.