Wear and care of cloth masks for students
January 13, 2022
Public Health officials have stressed that wearing a well-constructed, well-fitted and properly worn mask or face covering is one the key protective measures we can take to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
Masking requirements and protocols are some of the many layers of protection in place at Upper Grand District School Board schools and sites, in addition to hand hygiene, distancing, ventilation, and daily screening.
The recommendation from public health officials is that cloth masks be 3-layers. To help support this and add to families current mask supply, the UGDSB will distribute additional 3-layer reusable cloth masks to students. The use of these masks is encouraged, however students may continue to wear the masks they currently have.
Please see the information below from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and Health Canada on the proper use and care of face coverings.
Use of Non-Medical Masks/Face Coverings
According to Health Canada, “The effectiveness of non-medical masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19 can vary based on many factors. It depends on material, construction, fit and proper use.”
Fit and Quality
Face coverings should:
- Allow for easy breathing
- Fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
- Maintain their shape after washing and drying
- Be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
- Be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
- Be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)
- Be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth and chin without gaping
Proper Use and Care
To make mask use as effective as possible, it’s essential to make sure you’re using, storing and cleaning them properly.
Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you:
- adjust your mask
- put your mask on
- take your mask off
It’s important to keep your mask clean when not in use, or when eating or drinking.
Do not hang the mask from your ears or place it under your chin. Store it in a clean paper or cloth bag until you put it on again.
Properly clean and disinfect any items that improve mask fit, like braces and mask fitters.
Discard disposable masks and filters properly in a garbage container or use a mask recycling program if one is available.
Washing and Drying Cloth Face Coverings
- Your face covering can be washed with your regular laundry.
- Use your usual laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering.
Washing by hand:
According to the CDC you should:
- Prepare a bleach solution of 1/3rd cup household bleach (not clothing bleach) per gallon of room temperature water.
- Soak the face covering in the bleach solution for 5 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.
- Face covering should be completely dry before wearing.
- Machine dry on the highest heat setting, or
- Lay flat, or
- Hang to dry in direct sunlight.
- After wearing, it is recommended to wash the face covering, however, if you plan to wear it again, carefully fold the mask touching only the loops or ties, and place in a clean paper bag or breathable container.
For more information on the proper use and care of cloth face coverings, please visit the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health website. https://wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-public/face-coverings-faqs/wear-and-care-face-coverings