Everything You Need to Know About Wearing A Face Mask

Wearing a face mask is more important than ever as our community continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Wearing a face mask can save lives,” shared Dr. Avi Silber, Chief Medical Officer at Cornerstone Family Healthcare. “When you practice physical distancing, wash your hands frequently and wear a face mask when social distancing is not possible, you are doing your part to stop the spread of the virus.  We encourage everyone to wear a face mask to support our medical workers, help prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 in our community, and keep local businesses open.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures – 6 feet or more, indoors or outdoors – are difficult to maintain. Cloth face masks are not required or recommended by the CDC for children under the age of 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove the mask without assistance.

How To Wear a Face Mask

Face coverings should be placed over the mouth and nose, allowing for breathing without any restriction, and fit snug – but comfortably – against the side of your face. It should completely cover both your nose and mouth. Follow these tips to properly use a face mask:

  • Always wash your hands before putting on your face covering.
  • Do not touch the front of the mask. If you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Use the ear loops or ties to put your mask on and take it off.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.
  • If you live in an apartment or shared space, put your mask on and take it off when your inside your home. Elevators and stairwells can be high-contamination areas.
  • Wash and dry cloth masks daily.
  • Disposable paper face masks should be used for one outing outside the home. They cannot be properly cleaned.

Masks with Exhalation Valves or Vents

Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others, according to the CDC.  The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. However, masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others.  This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others. Click here to learn more.

How to Make A Face Mask at Home

Professional masks should be reserved for health care workers on the front lines caring for patients. Simple cloth face coverings can be made at home and may help prevent the spread of COVID-19. There are many local shops where you can purchase cloth masks or you can make one at home following these simple instructions from the CDC –https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-make-cloth-face-covering.html

COVID-19 Testing

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or muscle aches – please call Cornerstone Family Healthcare at (845) 563-8000. Our staff will help determine if you need to be seen and provide you with instructions for seeking medical care.  If one of our physicians determine that you need to be tested for COVID-19, you will be sent to a site and asked to let them know when you’ve arrived by phone.  Patients generally remain in their cars for evaluation and drive-up testing in order to best protect other patients and our staff.  If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

Additional Resources