Health officials remind people to wear masks properly

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – More people are wearing face masks, with some stores like Costco even starting to require customers to wear them, to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. But, it’s becoming clear not everyone knows how to wear masks properly.

“I see a lot of people wearing it maybe because they feel like they’re suffocating, they’re kind of wearing it like this a lot (mask not covering nose) and that defeats the purpose,” Melinda Drumheller of Albuquerque said.

It’s not hard to find people wearing masks only covering their mouth or only covering their nose, leaving the chin exposed. According to the World Health Organization, both are incorrect. People also often touch the front of their masks. While WHO said that habit can contaminate the mask, some said it’s hard to avoid.

“I need to adjust it. Because it’s either falling down and I need to bring it back up over my nose. Or sometimes even, it is in my vision, I can’t see clearly,” Cindy Bleich of Albuquerque said. “So, I have to bring it down a little bit. So, I’m not sure what to do in that case as far as bringing my hands to my face, which I wear gloves by the way or just letting it hang there improperly.”

That’s why WHO recommends having a mask that fits snug across the face so there are no gaps between the mask and the side of the face. It also said masks need to cover below the chin and all of the nose, not just the tip of the nose.

There are also protocols of how to put on a mask to minimize contamination, it starts with washing hands. WHO has a video on how to properly put on, wear and take off a face mask. The CDC also has guidelines for wearing a cloth face covering.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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