Learn which masks to wear and how to wear them effectively.
Wearing a mask in indoor, public spaces is a personal choice which can reduce your exposure to COVID-19 and protect others.
What kind of mask should I wear, if I choose to wear one?
In most places:
- Choose a reusable mask made with three layers of breathable fabric (cotton) and which does not have vents or valves.
What can I do to make sure that I am using a mask effectively?
- Masks should completely cover your mouth, nose and chin
- Masks should fit snugly, leaving no gaps
- Wash your hands before and after you put on or remove your mask
- Try not to touch your mask. If you touch your mask by mistake, wash your hands again
- Store clean masks in a sealable plastic bag when not in use
- Wash reusable masks daily with soap or detergent, preferably in hot water
- If your mask is soiled or damaged, do not wear it
- Dispose of non-reusable masks in a garbage bin
- For information about reducing the environmental impacts of disposable masks, visit the BCCDC's website
My eyeglasses fog up when I wear a mask, is there anything I can do?
Fog or condensation is created on your eyeglasses when moist, warm air escapes from the top of your mask and hits the colder lenses of your glasses.
Close the gap where air escapes:
- Choose a mask that has a wire over the nose. For homemade masks, sew in a pipe cleaner or twist tie.
- Tape over the gap. Make sure to use medical tape that’s designed for use on skin
Coat your lenses (check with your optometrist before trying these tips so that you don’t damage your eyeglasses):
- Soap and water, and dry with a microfiber cloth
- De-misting spray, that dries clear
Can I wear a mask over my beard or mustache?
- Mustaches that extend beyond the edge of the face and beards can prevent the mask from fitting snugly and leave gaps, so when possible tuck it in
- Even so, masks can still provide some protection. Choose a mask that leaves as few gaps as possible. Sometimes a larger mask can fit over the facial hair, without leaving gaps
My headphones keep getting tangled in my mask.
- Over-the-ear headphones that you wear over your mask may be the best solution, as you are forced to remove the headphones in order to get to your mask
- Wireless headphones, preferably ones that don’t stick too far out of your ear, are also a good solution
- For wired headphones, try to remember what order you put on your mask and headphones. Start at the outside and work your way down.
How do you wear a mask with head coverings?
- Use longer ties
- Use an extender
- Wear your mask underneath your turban or head covering
- Wear a ski scarf underneath your turban
Additional downloadable resources
How to wear a face mask
BC Centre for Disease Control
How to safely use a non-medical mask or face covering
Public Health Agency of Canada
How to wear a medical mask safely
World Health Organization