Wearing a mask can help stop COVID-19 from spreading. If you are caring at home for someone who is sick, the best masks for your own protection are N95 masks. There may be a shortage of N95 masks, however, which are especially needed for health workers, so a caretaker may need to use paper or cloth masks instead. And remember: masks need to be washed or replaced often.
When a person infected with COVID-19 wears a mask, it protects other people from their coughing, sneezing and speaking, which can fill the air with germs. Because many people are infected without any signs, wearing masks in public will slow the spread of COVID-19.
Wearing masks in public is not enough to protect you and your community from COVID-19. It is just as important to keep 2 meters distance from others, not to touch your face, and to wash your hands often.
A mask will work better if it has 2 or 3 layers of cloth. T-shirt fabric or another tightly woven cotton (you cannot see through it when held up to light) work well. A good mask will cover your nose and mouth and fit your face closely. You must be able to breathe in and out comfortably through the cloth.
Washing hands with soap and water is an important way to prevent illness, including COVID-19. Any soap or detergent for washing the body, hair, clothing or dishes can be used to wash your hands. It can be solid, liquid, powder or paste. If you have nothing else, use ashes, sand, or mud. Rub hands together as if you were using soap and rinse well.
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