Editorial: While wearing a face covering or mask, be sure to wear it properly

For those of you who wear a mask -- and wear it correctly -- while in public, around other people or when you're not able to social distance to help stem to spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), we thank you. Keep it up.

For those of you who wear a mask -- incorrectly -- while in public, around other people or when you're not able to social distance, let's fix that.

While we are out and about, we've seen people wearing masks in creative ways. Some wear their face covering like a chin strap on a football helmet. Others let the mask dangle from one ear. Lanyards have become a popular addition to a mask, as we've seen them completely on the lanyard and not on the wearer's face. Some people wear a mask so that it's only covering their mouth, or only covering their forehead, or only covering their neck -- leaving their nose fully exposed.

A mask does little good if it's not snugly covering your nose and mouth.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises most people to wear a mask or face covering that goes completely over your nose and mouth "to help protect others in case you're infected with COVID-19 but don't have symptoms." Studies have shown that face coverings can help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The CDC advises masks should not be worn by children 2 and younger and "anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance."

The CDC shared the following guidelines on how to correctly wear your mask.

• Wash your hands before putting on your mask.

• Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.

• Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.

• Make sure you can breathe easily.

• The CDC does not recommend use of masks or cloth masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent.

The CDC advises us to wear a mask to protect others.

• Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect others in case you're infected with COVID-19 but don't have symptoms.

• Wear a mask in public settings when around people who don't live in your household, especially when it may be difficult for you to stay 6 feet apart.

• Wear a mask correctly for maximum protection.

• Don't put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead.

• Don't touch the mask, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to disinfect​.

The CDC provided these tips on how to properly remove your mask.

• Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops.

• Handle only by the ear loops or ties.

• Fold outside corners together.

• Place mask in the washing machine.

• Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

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